Let’s go hunting mushrooms in Tuscany!
Mushrooms are among the ingrediets of tasty recipes and we find them in many dishes from around the world.
In addition to being delicious, mushrooms are able to make us feel better, not only for their nutrients but also because hunt mushrooms is a very nice way to spend a relaxing daywalking in the woods and mountains which Tuscany and in particulary the area around Siena, is rich.
Depending on the period of growth, we can say that we can find mushrooms almost everywhere. Despite their adaptability, their ideal habitat remains the woods. Their growth is also linked to seasonal cycles; as a general rule it can be said that in order to hunt mushrooms it is necessary that there are certain atmospheric conditions and temperature, generally between 15 and 25 degrees and that these are accompanied by a certain degree of humidity of the soil. It is known that for their development, the mushrooms require a hot, humid climate, provided that it has between mid-August and mid-October.
The stormy days, as well as wind and drought determine the contrary unfavorable conditions for their growth. Not necessarily the plant, or the “spawn”, dies; it can simply stop its activity and it went into “hibernation”.
For all those who want to experiment with this new hobby and look for mushrooms, remember that their recognition is an art that you learn with a bit of study and a lot of experience!
In general you have to keep in mind that the best time to devote to research runs from early August to late September. Moreover, according to people with some experience, the hours of the day most suitable “to hunt mushrooms“, are those of the afternoon with two advantages, the best lighting conditions and terrain. In fact, in the afternoon is the grass that the undergrowth have lost the dew, the soil is drier and the same fungi are in better condition to be collected.
With regard to the method, remember that you’ll need a stick of wood that will be used to move the leaves, a wicker basket or other material that allows air to circulate inside, however, and the spores fall in order to ensure the rebirth in the future, and a knife. When you found a mushroom is important not to touch it with your hands if you do not know the species. In case you’re sure that this is a non-poisonous mushroom, helping you pick it up with a knife, clean thoroughly the stem so that the earth, the mycelium can fall on the ground. It is important to gather mushrooms that we are sure of their edibility.
The best-known mushrooms are definitely the following: porcini, champignons and the most poisonous, amanita falloide.
Mushrooms are then linked to legends and curiosity. It is said for example that the greek hero Perseus, after a long journey, managed to find comfort thanks to water which was contained in the cap of a mushroom. To show his gratitude, then he founded a colony called Mycenae, whose name derives from the greek word for mushrooms. In the Middle Ages it was believed instead that mushrooms grow in circles after a Sabbath, a meeting between witches and wizards, or after a dance of gnomes and elves.
Mushrooms are moreover valuable allies of man: in agriculture, for example, are they are useful in order to recultivate the land precisely because they absorb pesticides and pollutants. So pay attention where you collect them!
A very particular and less known mushroom is the Reishi or Lingzhi, used for teas and liqueurs. It is considered by the Chinese medicine “the mushroom of immortality”.
Then we have a curiosity that we hope will make you smile! It may sound incredible, but it seems that Viagra accelerates mushrooms’ growth. The reaction was discovered in Switzerland and has been published in the prestigious journal Annals of Improbable Research.
At this point we wish you to have fun! Let’s go hunting mushrooms in Tuscany and and good luck from Borgo Grondaie!
Published by Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie