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Mushroom Season in the Netherlands Posted by on Nov 6, 2019 in Culture, Dutch Vocabulary, food

Fall is here and we can enjoy the season of mushroom picking or plukken. I have spotted different kinds in parks, fields and in the forest. Yesterday while I was walking my dog Lisa, I found this beautiful fairytale-like mushroom. Perhaps a kaboutertje or gnome was hiding in there!

Personal photograph

In Dutch, mushrooms are customarily called paddenstoelen or champignon like in French. The first word is used very broadly while the second is used for edible varieties of the mushroom.

Markets in many cities are filled with delicious and beautiful varieties of edible champignons and while it may seem tempting to save a euro or two by picking some from the forest, you should be sure that these are edible or eetbare. In the Netherlands, there are over 5,000 varieties of paddenstoelen, 30 of these are poisonous or giftig and some are very similar in appearance to edible mushrooms.

Every year, dozens of people seek medical assistance because of poisonous mushrooms. Some of the side effects of eating these non-edible varieties include overgeven (vomiting), buikpijn (stomach ache), flauwvallen (faint), and misselijk worden (become nauseous).

De Regels

If you plan on plukken,  you first need to check the rules set up by the Staatsbosbeheer. The Staatsbosbeheer is an independent government organization that protects the Netherland’s forests. The mission of this organization is the following:

Staatsbosbeheer beheert het groene erfgoed (heritage) van Nederland; 273.000 ha natuur die we beschermen (protect), die je kunt beleven (experience) en die we samen met en voor anderen duurzaam benutten (use).

According the advised issued by the Staatsbosbeheer, everything you pick is op eigen risico or at your own risk. You should know what to look for to tell apart giftig and eetbare types. You shouldn’t damage the areas that you visit. Each time you go picking, you can collect about 250 grams (less than 9 ounces) or the equivalent of the bakjes you can get at the market or grocery store. Plucking more than this is considered diefstal or theft. You must also abide by the rules of the area that you visit so no trespassing private property, and if an area is out of bounds, you must stay away regardless of how many delicious mushrooms you see. Some cities or gemeenten prohibit mushroom picking so check beforehand. Last but not least, remember that there are other people doing the same.

In the following video, an expert mushroom picker explains more about picking mushrooms and the risks involved.

Lekker eten

So you picked some delicious niet giftige paddenstoelen and you are ready to get cooking. You could opt for the ever popular mushroom risotto (which is always heerlijk), but there are plenty of other dishes from the Dutch cuisine.

Paddenstoelen ragout served in pasteibakjes is certainly a nice way to serve wild mushrooms. This video shows you how to prepare this step-by-step.  The Dutch grocery store Albert Heijn suggests this delicious paddenstoelensoep with chicken. You can watch this video via this link. But if you are looking for a very traditional Dutch recipe, the best way to go is with this delicious oesterzwam kroketten. The video below is led by a man called “the king of fast food” from The Hague. He works at a place called Vegetarische Snackbar.

Is it common to go mushroom picking where you live? What would you prepare with some wild mushrooms?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


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