It’s mushroom season! What a pleasure to go for a walk in the forest and to bring back the basket full of cepes, chanterelles, boletus and coulemelles! But to avoid becoming intoxicated or destroying forest ecosystems, one must be well prepared to take advantage of them. All our tips for successful mushroom picking.
1 / The right preparation: learning how to recognize mushrooms
Before becoming a mushroom picking champion, you have to take the risk of spending long hours looking at your feet before coming back empty-handed or worse , the basket filled with toxic mushrooms. It must be said that nothing looks more like an edible mushroom than another poisonous mushroom!
So, before anything else, we take the time to revise our basics by consulting an encyclopedia of mushrooms or by downloading a specialized application. For beginners, the ideal is to start learning in the field, accompanying an expert.
Gradually, you will learn to recognize the most common edible mushrooms in your area, but also the most dangerous. If you do not know anyone to introduce you, do not hesitate to turn to local associations.
2 / Picking mushrooms: the right material
Far from being purely decorative, the basket allows mushrooms to be placed next to each other while leaving them in the open air. Indeed, mushrooms should not be superimposed in a plastic bag where they could ferment and rot, which would make them unfit for consumption.
If you are lucky to find several different varieties, take care not to mix them so that the toxic mushrooms do not contaminate the good ones! And if the harvest looks good, do not hesitate to provide two baskets.
The second essential accessory of the mushroom picker is a knife, which allows to cleanly cut the mushroom at the foot. Some models even have a small brush to remove the soil before placing the mushroom in the basket.
Finally, before leaving, make sure to be well covered and well-shod for a long walk in the undergrowth, plan rain gear if the weather changes, and do not forget your book to identify mushrooms.
3 / The right time and place to pick mushrooms
Specialists often speak of “mushroom days” and “mushroom wedges” among them. But how to recognize them? In theory, the best days are often in autumn, when the sun returns to heat the earth after several rainy days.
Depending on the variety and region, it is also possible to pick mushrooms in summer or spring, provided that the weather announces sun after rain.
To find the right “mushroom corner”, it is better to avoid all areas near roads, car parks and factories, because the pollutants of the earth may end up directly on your plate …
It also avoids the parks public and private estates, as well as game reserves to avoid taking a lost ball! After, it takes patience to find the right place, with all the same a clue: in general, they are already known by other walkers, who all agglutinate in the same place!
4 / Picking mushrooms: the good look and the good gesture
Once on the ground, it’s time to open your eyes, and the good.When you find a mushroom, start by observing it and pick it if it seems edible.
The mushroom must be neither too old nor too damaged. If this is the case, start by checking his name in your guide or application, then cut it with your knife, remove the soil and put it in your basket. Always cut the foot for easy final identification after harvesting.
In any case, it is important to respect the ecosystem of the forest by avoiding picking too many mushrooms, lifting the leaves, raking the soil, tearing off the feet or destroying the mushrooms that are too old. Let nature do its work so that other mushrooms can push back the next week!
5 / The good reflex: have your picking checked
As long as you are not an expert in mycology, it is imperative to have your collection checked by a pharmacist or a specialized association.
Indeed, it must be said and repeated that some varieties of mushrooms are similar like two drops of water, one being edible and the other toxic. Above all do not trust your application (let alone if it offers a photo recognition), and take the time to make a detour through the pharmacy.
Otherwise, if you are really sure of yourself, avoid as a precaution to give mushrooms to young children and pregnant women and consume your crop quickly, no later than the day after picking.
6 / The right recipe
When you get home, put the mushrooms under the cold water to wash the soil, cut the damaged parts and cook them without waiting too long. The mushrooms are fragile and can not be stored for more than two days in the refrigerator.
If you have too much, you can also freeze, dry or cook in natural jars in a boiling brine salted at 15g/ liter.Apart from traditional pan-fried garlic and herbs or mushroom omelette, do not forget to cook your mushrooms in soups, risotto or refined pasta dishes!
Ifdespite everything, you notice any signs of intoxication such as nausea, vomiting or tremors, call 15 without waiting.