Get to Know a Mushroom

When is a mushroom more than just a mushroom?
Visitors can take a tour of Hamakua Mushrooms. // © 2013 Hamakua Mushrooms
Visitors can take a tour of Hamakua Mushrooms. // © 2013 Hamakua Mushrooms

When is a mushroom more than just a mushroom? Visitors can get the answer to that question and more at Hamakua Mushrooms, which has started offering educational tours of its 16,000-square-foot factory. Launched in 2001 in the sleepy town of Laupahoehoe, the company gained fame when Hawaii chef Alan Wong served its shrooms at a 2009 White House luau thrown by President Obama. The fabulous fungi are carefully cultivated to grow in bottles and Hamakua’s prize product, the meaty Alii (royal), is a delicacy fit for a king — or a president. The 70-minute tour and tasting, offered three times per week, costs $20 per adult and $10 per child. www.fungaljungle.com
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