Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mushroom Hunt

The autumn weather is perfect for mushrooms and fungi. Each year we endeavour to seek out and find edible mushrooms that we are 100% sure of. Basically, there are only 3-4 varieties that we would be confident in collecting and eating and only then with set criteria that is verified by our guidebook. The cliffs near La Pasera are great hunting ground and with a short burst of autumnal rain followed by warm humid sunshine the timing was perfect for the hunt. Setting off early in the morning with knife, binoculars, basket and guidebook, we took the Camino de Santiago (just down the lane from La Pasera) and made our way across the fields and meadows. It wasn't long before we spotted in a corner of a distant field something that we recognised as Macro Lepiota Procera - the parasol mushroom (this is where the binoculars come in very useful). We didn't find much else that day but were pleased with the harvest - cleaned, sliced and sautéed, sprinkled with a touch of sea salt - perfect. Unless you are 100% sure about picking wild mushrooms, then stick with the greengrocers - many people die or become seriously ill each year through over confidence or ignorance.

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