Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mushrooms - fascinating forest delicacies

One edible unknown mushroom (to me)
Summer of 2011 has provided near perfect conditions for forest mushrooms. Heat and humidity made all kinds pop up as early as July. But beware! As some may be exclusive ingredients in your cooking, others may be harmful, even deadly. So I am grateful for connoisseurs as my friend Dagfinn, that may separate friends from foes.

When visiting me in our summer home in July, we went for a walk through the forest. Everywhere we could spot many different mushroom species. In fact there were so many different kinds, and we even found some of the most delicious ones.
The most striking and safest variety are the chanterelles. They have the brightest orange colour and characteristic uneven hats. They are maybe the only one I would consider as safe for me to pick. We found only a few small ones, but where you spot one or two, there are likely to be more, even numerous specimens. Chanterelles are the most outstanding ingredient and can be used in omelets, pasta dishes and pies.
These mushrooms are edible and related to the porcini
The most precious mushroom to be found in Norway are the cep (steinsopp) or porcini. Our eyes followed the side of the road in order to see one of these.

We got a reward by a large spruce - one medium sized pricini in mint condition - no worm holes, fresh and firm.

Dagfinn, however, is skilled separating the good mushrooms from the bad. He found a large number of other good mushrooms, so we returned to our summer home with a basket of at least a few kilos of forest mushrooms for us to enjoy.

Quite a few of them had to be cut and rinsed. He presented me with a chantarelle and porcini omelet the next day, The other mushrooms were fried in butter, packed in separate plastic bags waiting to be added to a forest stew this fall.

More on Dagfinn Skoglund

Dagfinn Sigridsson Skoglund is 50 years old (forever) and is living in a studio apartment in downtown Oslo. He is working as a designer and art teacher, and is an excellent cook.

Dagfinn is a passionate lover of music, botany and is an experienced traveler - and he hates popcorn!

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