Monday, May 18

so they look awful...


but they taste and smell divine. What to do with an excess of wild mushroom after you've given kilos away and eaten as many fresh as you can? You dry them. Perfect for soup, stock and risotto. 4kgs of mushroom now rest in a 8ooml jar after spending the night on trays on the wood heater.

Here's an excerpt from a piece on 'Hunting' in the Adelaide Review by Roger Haden, Gastronomy lecturer at Adelaide University.

"Over the years, wild fungi have had a bad rap, while the white button version known as “the cultivated mushroom” (Agaricus bisporus) has become the mono-cultural mushroom of choice. Now, thankfully, the meatier “large flat” and the more fragrant Swiss Brown have appeared on the scene. Yet nothing commercially grown comes close to the variety of flavour and texture of the wild species. The “piney” flavour of the very common Saffron Milk Cap (Lactarius delisiosus), which grows plentifully under older stands of pine trees, is indeed delicious (it’s the most popular wild mushroom eaten in Catalonia).


Once you’ve been on a hunt with a mushroom fanatic you’ll see how easily recognisable the edible varieties are. Moreover, what great fun it is to forage after this sometimes elusive prey. After a good shower of rain at this time of year, the fungi emerge in all their glory".

The adventure continues.
Im very addicted to this new behaviour. What is incredible is that we have discovered a very public place where the mushrooms are growing but no one else is picking them. Thousand of them, all walked past, kicked over, squashed underfoot. The damn things sell for $30 kg in the markets!
Crazy.

11 comments:

Rixa said...

I wish I knew an expert mushroom hunter...we've been able to find morels but that's about it (and morels, alas, only have a 2-3 day long season).

Tricia said...

I think they look gorgeous!

What a great find. I should find out more about Mushrooms in this area. I've been growing them under the house from spent mushroom compost - but they are just the commercial button varieties.

Pip at Rest is not idleness said...

They only look awful to people who don't know what they are. You might as well make the most of them while they are there.
Pip

Em said...

Wish I knew more about mushrooms Kel - dad used to take us hunting but it was only right for them occasionally in the area we lived... one memorable year the entire square mile around a stock watering point was carpeted with mushrooms (the common looking sort) - we picked a dozen buckets and mum spent late into the night reducing them in butter for freezing. They used to grow in the cowpoo in the cattleyards too. I think it was dad's excitement at discovering them that made us all treasure mushrooms. But I'm too chicken to experiment on my own, I need a hunter-teacher.

Thanks for your mushroomy posts, I'll stash them away for the future.

Veggie Gnome said...

Go for it! I am glad you are picking them and using them. Nothing beats the taste of wild mushies! So useful in tons of dishes. You only need to throw 1 or 2 dried ones in a risotto/stew/stock/soup/sauce/etc. to change the flavour. Or you could finely grind one and add to your pasta dough. or or or....

We also used to quickly saute the mushrooms in butter. Then freeze in portions. No flavouring added. You can play with them once defrosted.

Julie said...

Oh. My. Word.

Julie runs off to research possible local wild mushroom locations...

Veggie Gnome said...

Oh oh ohhhh... *pats tummy*

My, they were delicious! Thanks so much for sharing, we thoroughly enjoyed them. Even Flower Gnome. We have two small portions left over for the freezer.

Too full and lazy to blog it. Maybe tomorrow. Thank you again for the very generous pile of mushrooms.

Kel said...

Veggie - glad you both enjoyed them so much. I did egg pasta with cream , garlic, parsley and mushroom..divine! I m not really that into mushrooms but these ones do it for me. the texture is better.

Julie- go for it!!!! its so fun and rewarding and delicious and FREE!!!

Kel said...

rixa- a good book and the internet go al long way for with some common varieties. Im lucky tho', si is 3rd generation 'shroom hunter. But there are local fungi id food groups here..maybe one in your area...

tricia- i recommend it for a great day out and it encourages the kids to think about food in a new way.

Pip - hear hear- true. beauty is... and yes, we are definitely making the most of them while the season is here

Em - thanks for the butter tip- will definitely try it out. What a lovey childhood memory - im hoping to pass that on myself. As i said to rixa- there are local groups for people wanting to go exploring with an 'expert'...

anonymous said...

Argh!!! I wish to know where to find them. I am from Spain and yesterday in the central market I saw them.... crazy price!!
They are one of my favourite mushrooms, stewed with pork ribs and potatoes... niceee.
I have been 3 years in Australia didnt knew that this beauties grew here as well.
I am on the search of the spots now.
Cheers!

Javi (the Spaniard)

Kel said...

hi anonymous. well..mushroomers never give away their locations except to close friends...its a rule. however stick around here and you may end up privy..failing that , clue is Adelaide Hills, pine trees,( not aussie trees that look like pines) side of road are good and you have to look for lumps under the trees, sometimes they dont make themselves known!