This morning I finally got to do what I have wanted to do for a very long time, and go mushroom foraging in the forest. I find the philosophy around foraging for food hugely appealing but it’s always seemd to be a very closely guarded secret amongst everyone I have ever met that does it.
I guess there is a desire to preserve the supply, and to ensure the sustainability.
The event was organised by slow food mother city and was extremely interesting.
After a basic introduction we were sent off to forage on our own in smaller groups. With no idea what were edible and what were lethal, we gathered what we found for the show and tell.
What a lot of fun.
I’m not even going to try and remember all the names and all the details, and of course the secrets need to be preserved, but the outing at least gave us an overview of what its all about, and what, as a rule of thumb a mushroom that induces organ failure looks like vs. one that you could eat.
It’ s a pretty tricky and risky exercise and needs to be handled with extreme caution. There is also a lot of confusion, even the expert botanist with a phd had the odd unsure moment about some of these little suckers. Mushrooms from the same species can look really different to each other and at different life stages. So its not all cut and dry.
So the cep or the porcini with its luminous gills, looked to be one of the most ominous and certainly not like the porcini I have cooked with before. All round a lot to know, a lot of risk, but I’m keen to explore a little further and have an eating experience before I make my final call.
More pictures of the event can be found on the slow food mother city site.