Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Wild Food


Hardly a big nutritive element in the primitivist's diet, the fungi still is interesting because of it's flavour and it's value as a variation. Some can be eaten raw, but mostly they are eaten cooked in stews due to their bulk qualities. They can level out a little of either bland or slightly foul taste. Most fungi preserve well after drying in thin slices on a string as long as they are stored in a dry environment. Far from all types of edible fungi will be covered here. Only the most easily recognisable and those who are frequently found in the Norwegian wilds are included. Do consult a good mushroom manual before picking and eating fungi. Don't trust my information blindly.


This family has very meaty mushrooms, excellent for stews with their bulk and texture. They a network of tubes under the cap, which is the certain identification of the Boletus genus. Only a few species are poisonous and they can be identified by their red stems. The young specimens are usually the best ones. Older ones become limp and highly insect infested. On the photo are several species of edible boletus.


The “true” chantarelle is the most easily identifiable one, but some of the less conspicuous ones are far more common. Their taste is quite sharp and slightly peppery. They don't get as infested with insects and usually have a longer season than the Boletus. Photo: A day's catch, the ptarmigan is my brother's. In the plastic box are two species of chantarelle.


Members of the Russula genus are usually brightly toned, but the colours differ from specie to specie. Some of the edible ones can look a little like fluesopp. One of the clear differences are however lack of a ring on the stem. To test whether it is an edible Russula, take a small bit of the cap and taste it. If it tastes good and mild the specie is edible. If foul or sharp in taste, spit it out as it is either poisonous or non-edible.


Some species of this genus are easily identifiable due to the orange “sap”, which become green about an hour after making a cut in the mushroom. They taste sharply, but good. Not tried them myself yet, but they abound in the forests.

Hydnum repandum

This mushroom has an even stronger taste than the chantarell, but I wouldn't describe the taste as peppery. It is easily identifiable by it's bleak cap with spikes underneath.

Albatrellus ovinus

Though this specie isn't said to be much in the kitchen (have yet to test this), it is easily identifiable with it's off-white cap and pores underneath. They are often quite large and grow in great quantity amongst spruce.

Used Norwegian books for detailed information, but was cross-referenced with information from MushroomExpert.Com.

Next Wednesday: Fish