Last Sunday I joined Andy Overall of fungitobewith.org to forage for wild Mushrooms. Andy organises various fungi focused events such as foraging walks, workshops, dinners, etc. Needless to say his knowledge is extensive.
As a child we used to visit relatives in Germany and uncle Rudi would take us into the forest to gather wild mushrooms. I was fascinated by the fungi we gathered – red, blue, green, yellow, purple – all sorts of things I would have considered as inedible or poisonous.
Andy’s trip did not disappoint and he took us to woodland rich in edible fungi. I came home with some Bay Boletes, Yellow Russulas, Chicken-in-the-Woods, Tawny Grizettes and Polyporus Tuberaster found growing on a birch branch.
Cooking the mushrooms is also an art. The Grizettes must be well cooked otherwise they are poisonous. Many are more delicate than our standard supermarket mushrooms so must be lightly cooked. Those with spongy textures are good for marinating and soaking up a tasty stock.