Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Frightfully fruitful funghi foray

  Yet another brilliant mushroom hunt at the weekend.  I have found myself frequently saying, 'this is the most successful foray yet', this of course changes after each trip, such is the abundance of mushrooms this autumn...but this really is the best mushroom haul I've ever had (...until next time).

We found; a great patch of Chanterelles (though I got caught up in the moment and forgot to take photographs, oops), Amethyst Deceivers, Trumpet Chanterelles (by the bucket load), Oak Milkcaps, Saffron Milkcaps, my first Cauliflower Fungus of the year, Orange Birch Boletes, Brown Birch Boletes, Bay Boletes, and a whole host of Porcini. Check it out;

Trumpet Chanterelle (Cantharellus tubaeformis):

These cousins of the Chanterelle are pretty common and, once found, are usually very locally abundant, meaning you can pick baskets full of them in no time at all - hallelujah!  They grow in numerous habitats, but tend to be found most abundantly with pine, particularly amongst thick bracken.  This is exactly where we found these specimens - they are almost impossible to see when standing up as the caps are the same dull brown as the forest floor and the bracken blurs your view, but once on your belly, the golden stems become visible for as far as the eye can see.

Trumpet Chanterelle (bottom), Chanterelle (top), and Porcini, Amethyst Deceivers, Bay Boletes
and a Brown Birch Bolete in between

Cauliflower Fungus (Sparassis crispa):

Cauliflowers are only ever found at the base of pine trees, so it's worth circling every
one you come across!

Despite the brain-like appearance, this is a fantastic edible mushroom

Saffron Milkcaps (Lactarius deliciosus):

The tell-tale orange spots on the stem are one way of telling Saffron Milkcaps apart
from False Saffron Milkcaps, though to make things tricky, these stem
 markings are not always present

And now for the obligatory post-mushroom hunt photos;

Porcini galore! (Note the mushroom shirt I'm wearing, an essential piece of attire, of course)

We split the haul with our family friends who joined us on the foray, giving the Porcini to them as we have large dried stores of them in the cupboard, here's what we kept back for a light mushroom supper;

Saffron Milkcaps (top left), Trumpet Chanterelles (bottom mid), Amethyst Deceivers (top mid),
Cauliflower Fungus (top right), and some Chanterelle (bottom right)

Scrambled egg on toast with fried mushrooms (with a drop of truffle oil in the scrambled mix for
that bit of extra va-va-voom)

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