We have lush forests and mountains very close to our houses, and from early October until Christmas, many inexperienced mushroom hunters enter them for the first time. That is why today we want to give you 10 tips in order to be good gathering mushrooms. So that the mushroom hunting adventure is enjoyable and you can enjoy autumn to the fullest.
1. Check the forecast
In the fall, what can look like a great day to delve into the woods or mountains, can turn into a maze of storm and fog, so it’s worth checking the weather forecast for where you want to go before you leave your house.
2. Know the region
If you don’t know it take some maps and a GPS system. If you want to take advantage and do a little route, download a good track and try not to deviate too much. Sometimes it is difficult to find mushrooms following the most common routes, but keep in mind that if you go on paths you do not know you can easily become disoriented.
3. Go in accompanied
Four eyes see more than two, and that, in itself, is already a good reason. But the main thing is that if you are not very expert, it is always good to have another mushroom finder nearby just in case. For us, mushroom hunting is an ideal plan to spend a very pleasant day with friends or family.
4. Outfit yourself
That means to bring enough water, food if you need it, waterproof clothes, good shoes and a cell phone with location system. Every year we have to go rescue some lost or unprepared mushroom finder for lack of this forecast, and we don’t want him to be you!
5. Not all mushrooms are edible
It may seem obvious, but it must be said: some mushrooms are highly toxic and can cause you a severe indigestion. The most common edible mushrooms in Catalonia are the camagroc (yellow-footed chanterelle), the rovelló (wild mushroom), the pinetell (lactarius), the rossinyol (chanterelle), the fredolic (grey knight), the carlet (field mushroom) and the trompeta de la mort (black chanterelle). The main advice is: do not pick any mushrooms if you are not entirely clear that they are edible.
6. Focus on the mushrooms you know
If this is your first time picking mushrooms, you need to consider which mushrooms you are sure to recognise 100% and focus on them. This means harvesting mushrooms that are easier to recognise, such as rovellons and boletus.
7. Catch them whole
That is, do not cut them in the middle of the trunk. The best way to harvest them like an expert mushroom picker is to pry with the knife so that you grab it whole in order to protect the mycelium. You also don’t have to remove the surrounding leaf litter as it harms the forest and mushrooms because if you do, they may not come out again.
8. A basket made of wicker
It is important that when you find the mushrooms you place them in a wicker basket, so that the spores are distributed throughout the forest while you walk and you ensure an upcoming harvest. If you keep them in plastic bags this does not happen.
9. Come back before it gets dark
Now the days are getting shorter and it’s easy for them to get dark as you hunt mushrooms. Avoid going back to the last hour of the day, as you may find that the day gets darker than expected and you have to go back into the fog without light.
10. Cook the best recipe!
An omelette of yellow-footed chanterelle, a stew of grey knights, a sauté of wild mushrooms, a stir of common mushrooms, a soup or a carpaccio of porcino, a good rice with black chanterelle... the possibilities are endless!
Going mushroom hunting is a must in the fall, so put on your shoes and keep warm, grab the mushroom basket and a small blade or knife and head into the woods! Oh, and the last tip for being a good mushroom picker: pick them responsibly, respect nature and the environment and most importantly, enjoy your mushroom meal. Bon Appetit!