Monday, 19 October 2015

Mushroom hunting

It’s that time of year again - wild mushroom time. The forest just outside our courtyard gate beckons.

Everyone we meet at this time of year talks about all the lovely mushrooms they collect from our forest, we have seen friends leaving the forest with baskets full, but we’ve never found any and to be honest as we don’t know an Agaricus bisporus from a Champignon de Paris we would be in danger of picking the wrong ones and poisoning ourselves - so we leave it to the natives.

The other day we saw our friend Francette collecting specimens at the entry to our forest so we stopped for a chat. She is a member of the Cluny mycological association and she was collecting things to be displayed in Cluny that weekend. On Friday we went to see the exhibition and asked specifically to see “our” mushrooms. So here is proof that our forest contains some very delicious specimens indeed.

"Our" Cèpes and "our" Girolles

So what edible mushrooms do we have?

Telling the difference between the right ones and
the wrong ones is not always obvious
Boletus edulis - Porcino – the French Cèpe; Cantharellus cibarius - chanterelle – the French Girolle; Hydnum repandum - Hedgehog mushroom – the French Pied-de-mouton and Craterellus cornucopioides - Horn of plenty – the French Trompette de la mort. Those are just the ones I saw at the exhibition - there may be others as well.

Having said that, telling the difference between the poisonous ones that look just like the edible ones is not something I  and willing to risk doing.

Safe Girolles
So when I went mushroom picking with Hélène yesterday, I let her have all the goodies we found. I actually found her a lovely cèpe which of course I didn’t think to take a photo of – my first wild mushroom find!

As she left in her car she gave a cheery wave and said that she hoped she would see me again, but you never know what might happen as she was going to eat the “cèpe” for her tea - I hope she’s OK, I haven't heard from her today.

I myself will be sticking to what the supermarket has on offer.

For holiday accommodation just to or three meters from a forest full of wild mushrooms click here.

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