Food From Nature – Mushrooms
Posted on February 14, 2012 by Charles Parson
Learn to pick edible mushrooms that you can find in nature. LearnFromTheChefs.com had a conversation with a mushroom expert, who tells how to get started.
They taste great fried in a pan with butter, stews or sauces. Mushrooms are one of nature’s finest delicacies, and they can right now and in the coming months, be picked for absolutely free in the forest and on the countryside.
If you are a beginner, you should however exercise caution warns Daniel Petersen, who is chairman of the Society for Promotion of Knowledge about Mushrooms, which since the beginning of the last century has been the gathering place for mushroom enthusiasts. It annually organizes up to a 1000 mushroom trips across the country, where both new and experienced collectors get out in nature together in search of the thousands of different mushrooms that exist.
He explains that the most important advice he can give to a beginner is that you learn a few species and know them really well:
“Make sure to not only learn about them from a book, but take a trip out into the countryside with someone who knows them and knows all the different ways they can look when they are young, tender or old. After a five to ten mushroom trips you will eventually be able to say that this is for sure a chanterelle, “says Daniel Petersen.
Forget the old folk tales
He explains that there are many old folk tales that you should forget about. One of them says that if you put a silver spoon down to the mushrooms, and it turns black then the mushroom is poisonous.
“This is pure nonsense,” says Daniel Petersen, but stresses that one should never put his or her teeth into a mushroom that they are not 100 percent sure is safe.
How to begin
Some of the best mushrooms for beginners are boletus, dust balls and chanterelles. The latter is one of the more general known edible mushrooms, as the small, butter-yellow mushroom is often found in supermarkets in the autumn months.
Boletus consists of a stick and a hat with a foam-like pipe layers below. These mushrooms are difficult to get wrong, if you just remember to cook them thoroughly (in an OrGreenic pan) before eating them.
“If someone is very afraid of confusion, you can also eat dust balls that are white inside. There are no poisonous mushrooms that can be mistaken for them, “said Daniel Petersen.
Oyster mushrooms in the dresser
The wild mushrooms can be found virtually everywhere, but the forest is the best place to look for edible mushrooms. The next best place is on the meadows.
“You can even find them indoors if you’re unlucky. There was even one that found oyster mushrooms in the dresser, because they had moisture indoors. “
Picking mushrooms is also an inexpensive hobby. It’s not just because they can be found everywhere in nature, but because you need very little equipment to get started. A mushroom basket or a cardboard box is one of the most important things you must have with you as the mushrooms can easily go and get muddy if you put them in plastic bags or the like.
Another important thing to have with you is a knife to clean the mushrooms:
“Mushrooms are easiest to clean, just when you pick them because there is often a bit of soil or sand on them. Therefore, take a sponge or a small knife with a sharp edge, so you can keep them fairly clean before you put them into the basket, “says Daniel Petersen.