Wild Food

Wild Food

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Weather playing havoc with this year’s mushroom season!

The recent heat wave has Birch Bolete jumping out of the ground over night. 

The Girolle is at its peak, with the same area producing 5 to 7 kg in a matter of three days.

The first Yellow Leg Chanterelle are up already, which is quite early for this mushroom usually found in abundance during autumn and winter.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Saffron Milk Cap (lactarius deliciosus)

The season of wild edible mushrooms continues. Even though the weather is not favourable at the moment for certain species of mushrooms, the Saffron Milk Cap has made its appearance. 

It often grows in large numbers in the same area.

The mushroom is a member of the large milk-cap family, which can be found from Midsummer in pine plantations and under conifers. 

The species got its name due to the colour of the milk. When the fresh mushroom is cut it exudes bright orange milk like liquid, which is one of the most distinct markers of this edible species.

This species makes no difference, as with all other fungi you need to have a very good understanding of mushrooms and you need to be 100% sure that you know exactly what you are picking. As the saying goes “if in doubt throw it out”

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Chanterelles season off to a good start.

It was almost six months ago that the last wild mushrooms such as Yellow Leg Chanterelles also called Winter Chanterelles disappeared. This year's season of the first edible mushrooms like the St George's Mushroom, which usually grows around the end of April (23rd April is St George's Day) started very slowly due to the weather.
But now with rising temperatures and plenty of rain, the first Summer Chanterelles have started to poke their heads through the forest floor.

These mushrooms are highly prized, very versatile and absolutely delicious.

Keep checking the recipe section for posts of my favourite recipes containing Summer Chanterelles throughout the next few months.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Wild garlic season advancing fast.

Anybody who likes wild garlic should hurry now as the season draws to a close.
For my favorite wild garlic recipes please check out the recipe section.

The flowers look very nice as a garnish, and if you can find some which have not yet opened you could pickle them very similar to capers.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Why back to nature, why now and for how long?

Foraging has undergone an unprecedented renaissance in Ireland in the last number of years.Many of the drivers are pointing at the positive aspects associated with foraged foods such as:
  •        Foraging for wild foods is part of the genetic makeup, ingrained into humans over millions of years
  •        a reduction in distance between food source and consumer is positive for the environment
  •        a balanced nutritional content of wild plants is good for a healthy diet
  •        the closeness between the consumer and food creates a rich and ongoing relationship with land and heritage
The sustainability of foraging is the most controversial issue. The heavy promotion of gathering wild edible plants is standing in stark contrast to the basic survival of many of these species. If the existing trend and the promotion of foraging continue at its current pace, the required amount of wild plants will endanger many of these species. One possible way forward, may be to cultivate some of the plants, which in due course will cause them to lose some of the property’s they had in the wild. Cooking and gastronomy play a major role in the present time as the media coverage suggests. As high profile chefs promoting the consumption of foraged foods around the world and in Ireland, they also need to take the responsibility up on themselves to increase awareness in regard to sustainability. Only responsible foraging will guaranty the existence of wild edible plants for future generations.