Bumper mushrooms

There was a time when foraging for mushrooms was a little like cruising the isles of the supermarket looking to see what you would find that looks vaguely appetising. You would gather some specimens, some of which you knew and others you would have to look up in the book to establish their worthiness. Now things have changed. Depending on the particular mushroom one fancies one goes to the specific spot where they should be on display. There are always exceptions to the rule. An example being parasol mushrooms which appear in grassland on long hollow stems. A single cap of one can fill a large frying pan. Searching for these is fairly easy as we have taken to standing on the terrace with binoculars. They are sufficiently tall and large you can spot them from about 400m. Invariably you find an additional two or three on route to gather the specimen you have seen.

This either means that we are getting better at identifying the dozen or so varieties we know or that we are learning where they grow locally, or indeed a combination of the above. There are still some mushrooms we would like to be more confident about identifying. The Russula family we see loads of and some are superb for eating, some are not and then some will make you very ill. There seems to me to be so many subtle variations that it could be a game of Russian Roulette and I personally am not a gambling man.

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