500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Surviving mushroom season

November2

We came, we saw, we copied. In this case, the great national pastime of the Czech Republic, mushroom collecting, indulged in by 80% of the population here. We’d been watching people walking past the house with overflowing baskets for some 3 months before we decided to give it a go ourselves. As with the apples, we nearly missed the boat.

Now the temperatures have dropped and the season has finished, I’m really missing it. It was lovely to take 1/2 hour or so every day to meander through the forest together & I now feel like I know my locale that bit better. I wonder if the start of the hunting season is also a push factor to the conclusion of mushroom picking here – as some varieties still grow now… if you’re wondering around in the forest, there’s a risk of being mistaken for something else (two easy ways to die through misidentification in mushroom picking).

So, in conclusion, we have identified and eaten the following types of mushrooms & are alive to tell the tale:

  • Yellow foot Chanterelle
  • Chanterelle
  • Hawks wing (a type of tooth fungus which is edible but can be bitter).
  • Hedgehog mushroom
  • Parasole
  • Boletus edulis (or penny bun)
  • Boletus badius (Bay bolete)
  • Boletus erythropus (or red foot bolete – this one is great fun & looks really scary with it’s amazing colour changes)
  • Boletus subtomentosus (or suede bolete)

Not a bad range seeing as we didn’t even bother buying mushrooms when we lived in the UK (the supermarket button mushrooms are so dull!!!). M said he has eaten more mushrooms in the last month than in the rest of his life.

Many sources had told us that Czechs are fairly relaxed about mushroom identification, but they have a saying that someone with a mushroom book in the forest is on their way to hospital. Our experience is that people are ultra conservative & will only eat varieties which have always been eaten by their families. They may not be looking them up in books, but a few generations of experience is far more important.

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