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I am not so sure. While I'm certainly no mycologist I have read a little in the area and am under the impression that most mushrooms can be realistically cultivated without huge symbiosis-emulation research chemistry level challenges.

In any event, here in Yunnan, China (said to be the world capital of mushrooms in terms of production, edible species, and undiscovered species[1]) there is a high-altitude (read: Tibetan) mushroom gathered for the Japanese market known as the 'songrong', which allegedly only grows on pine trees of certain age. Prices used to be very high because it was believed to be impossible to artificially cultivate. I have heard through informal channels that challenge has now been met (implication: through Japanese mycology research), so the price is bottoming out. This seems to be circumstantially confirmed by reports of declining exports over the past few years.

1. "Of 2,000 species of edible mushrooms in the world, more than 600 grow in Yunnan".




I don't doubt that the number of mushroom types that can be cultivated is high and growing, but the problem is more precisely that a number of the most desirable mushroom types (at least the most desirable in Europe) are hard to cultivate.

Most of the mushroom types sold in Europe on the US are still wild mushrooms, I believe, and not because people prefer wild versions (the vast majority of button mushrooms/champignon are cultivated) but because most of the popular types are not yet reliably cultivated.

EDIT: Here's a post that indicates that there is in fact a company that may be possibly be close to cultivating chantarelles - the description of the process is a quite fascinating illustration of some of the difficulty compared to the relatively simple approach in this article: http://amateurmycology.com/?p=220




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