Hunting wild mushrooms from a forest.
Fall is the most beautiful time of the year. We enjoy the colors of the trees – green, yellow, red, brown… Gentle sunshine comes through the leaves. The last flowers are still standing, showing off their beauty. It is so nice to walk in the forest surrounded by all this charm of nature.
In the USA people usually only take pictures of the autumn forest, while in Europe a popular pastime in the fall is mushroom hunting. This is pleasant and relaxing time for interactions with nature, plus you may find some very delicious food. In many countries people used to dry, freeze, pickle or marinade mushrooms for storage them during winter.
Every type of the mushroom grows on different soil and in particular type of vegetation. The most praised mushroom in Europe is boletus edulis or porcini. It is likely to be found near fir or in birch forest where the soil is moist ,but enough sun still comes through the branches. If you found porcini once, look around the same place later. Mushrooms have mycelium; they grow again and again around the same place. Boletus edulis has a strong white stem and white, pored surface under the brown cap. It has a nutty flavor and is very nutritious.
Mushrooms are good source of vitamins B, including riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and minerals like selenium, copper, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. They are low in calories and sodium, fat-free and cholesterol-free. Also they are a good source of fiber.
Orange-cap boletus is very easy to recognize. Its cap is orange or red. It has a white and black spotted stem. When cut, this mushroom’s white core become oxidized and transforms to blue-black. It’s likely to grow in deciduous or mixed forest.
Boletus luteus is a mushroom suitable for all kind of dishes. It gives soup or fried potato a delicate taste. Marinated boletus luteus is a tasty, gentle appetizer. It likes to grow on a sunny glades along a forest path. This mushroom may be easily identified by light brown mucous cap and yellow porous pulp under it.
Another very popular mushroom is chanterelle. Small ,yellow-orange mushrooms are usually grow in groups. It will bring a very good addition to your table.
Although forest mushrooms have a delicious taste and are full of nutrition and going to the forest is pleasant and relaxing time, picking wild mushrooms may be dangerous if you are not confident with their identification. Before you go to mushroom hunting, make sure you know all poisonous species. Check if your state requires you to buy a license to go to mushroom hunting. Always carry cell phone with you while in the forest, and take lighter or matches. If you are not confident about your knowledge, find the others who know what they are doing. Many states have mycological clubs where people learn about mushrooms and go to mushroom hunting together. Eat nothing you pick about a year, until you build knowledge about edible and poisonous species. When you feel confident, you may try it on your own. Mushroom hunting is one of the most wonderful and challenging hobbies.