Thursday, August 28, 2014


I was telling my coffee drinking buddies about hazelnuts and mushrooms.  I lamented that I wish I had a way to turn my stomping around the woods into a little bit of money.

They asked me if I knew Claude.

Who is Claude?

Claude is a broker or a middleman.  He will buy your mushrooms (among other things) if you have extra.  He will sell you mushrooms if you are short.  Are you a gourmet chef and throwing a party for 300 people?  You call a guy like Claude and the boxes show up via Fed Ex with everything you ordered.  He is even likely to throw in a few extra things like some Puffballs or Oyster mushrooms, trying to drum up some extra business.

Do you need 20 pounds of Madagascar Vanilla picked by chaste, ringtail lemurs?  Claude has it.  Do you need saffron (the real stuff packed in sardine-type tins) or black garlic or truffle oil.  Yup, Claude has it.

Claude's team hustles.  Let them do the leg work so you can focus on braising and glazing,  the slicing, searing, saucing and serving.

Claude's website Elegance Distributors Inc,  phone number 1-800-487-6157 and FAX 1-517-663-8153


Picture lifted from Claude's website

Claude buys and sells the following mushrooms (as seasonally available)
  • Enoki
  • Portobello
  • Crimini
  • Oyster
  • Shiitakes 
  • Baby Button Shiitakes
  • Paddy Straw
  • Matsutake
  • Hedgehogs
  • South American Cepes
  • Chicken of the Woods (picture)
  • Black Trumpets
  • Hen of the Woods (picture)
  • Scaber Stalks
  • Lobster 
  • Yellow Foot
  • Sweet Winter
  • Woodear
  • Morels (of course)
  • Puffballs
  • Pom Poms
  • Chanterelles
  • and Porcinis
I did not get to meet Claude but I talked with one of his workers.  He advised me to concentrate on Chicken of the Woods mushrooms for the next two or three weeks, then to keep my eyes open for Hen of the Woods.

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