Swedish Mushroom Picking part I Posted by Tibor on Oct 6, 2017 in Culture, food
This has been the greatest mushroom year for many years. The circumstances were extremely good this year to pick mushroom. The mushroom season begins in the middle of August every year and lasts approximately one or one and a half month if the weather is both rainy and warm before the frost arrives. One of the golden rules in Swedish culture is not to talk about your mushroom picking places. Less fortunate mushroom pickers always ask where one found so much mushroom. Maybe you can say outside of a little town like Lilla Edet or just take the person with you next time you go picking.
There are three mushrooms that are quite safe to pick in Sweden. But there are obviously more edible ones. The vast majority of Swedes pick them every year. The yellow Chanterelles, the so called Karl Johan svamp aka Penny Bun or Porcini or Trattkantareller aka Funnel Chanterelles (see picture below) or in common Swedish Trattisar. You have to be a bit careful though and look out for fake mushroom (förväxlingssvamp). They aren’t poisonous but tastes bad or maybe they can give you diarrhea.
It is better to pick them because it can be quite pricey to buy them in supermarkets. This year I have seen chanterelles for 249 SEK/kilo. It is insane!
The best way to find the good areas is near to a lake or a creek. The area should be wet and soggy because mushrooms love that. The landscape should be more clipped than flat. You will need a basket (korg), a mushroom knife (svampkniv) and a raincoat (regnjacka). Use the knife to cut the mushrooms by their foot. You will safe a lot of time by this so you don’t have to clean all of them from mud and sand when you get home. You can also cut smaller parts out of bigger mushrooms like the Penny Bun if they are infected. Don’t worry if it’s a little infected you can still eat it. But if it is too old and too infected it won’t taste as good as a fresh one. Look out for fake mushrooms (förväxlingssvamp) though because they taste bad and can give you diarrhea.
There are several courses about mushroom picking all around Sweden. Schools like Folkuniversitetet, Medborgarskolan or ABF gives courses sometimes. There is also a very good application called Svampguiden that you can download and learn more about mushrooms and mark your areas so you can check them out the following year if there is still plenty of mushrooms there.
How to eat them?
I would say that the Penny buns should be either pairboiled or dried on newspaper or in a dryer that you can easily buy at stores like Clas Ohlson or OBH Nordica. When it comes to Chanterelles or Funnel chanterelles I usually dry them and store them in jars or cans. You can store them dry for several years and you can still use them in different dishes and stews after putting them in water for a while before using them. Freshly picked mushrooms are also amazing i risottos, or on a toast with a little garlic and pinch of salt.