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Food Lovers Encyclopedia: M

Master Food Preservers
[like a Ph.D. in canning]
The roster of graduates from the UC Cooperative Extension’s M.F.P. program reads like a Southern California artisanal food A-list. The 12-week professional canning and preserving program happens only once a year; often more than 100 people apply, but only 18 are accepted. More interested in relish dabbling than a full-on pickling degree? Sign up for single classes taught by alumni. From produce dehydration to fermenting, there’s plenty of pantry fodder.

Meat
[if it’s shrink-wrapped, try again]
Throwing a few steaks on the grill these days isn’t enough. Now bold home cooks are purchasing entire goats, pigs, and lambs for roasting whole. Not a herder? A few area butchers can procure your beast. [See Fig. 6.] 

Mycology
[putting the fun in fungus]
Don’t be surprised when your home-brewing neighbor—the one with the shiitake tattoo—starts telling you about the ’shrooms sprouting in his kitchen drawer. They’re the legal kind, and growing or finding them yourself is the new DIY fad. The Los Angeles Mycological Society is a superb resource for urban foraging and mushroom info (not to mention a hipster pickup scene). The nonprofit also hosts the annual Wild Mushroom Fair (the next one will be held on February 10, 2013, at the Arboretum), where you can buy your own mushroom-growing kits. 

Food Lovers