Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Food for thought.

Autumn is the traditional time for collecting wild food, and if you have confidence in your identification there are plenty of edible fungi about. I must admit that field mushrooms are probably the only species that I'm capable of being certain about.

I think that these two beauties are parasol mushrooms (according to Jack that is.) However when I looked them up I came across this statement
"Although parasol mushrooms are edible, many fungi of the Lepiota family to which it belongs may be very similar in appearance and can cause stomach upsets. Some are very poisonous." That's enough to limit my fungi to ones sold in the shops! In Italy you can get your mushrooms checked at the local market to try and help prevent accidental poisoning, but there are still quite a few deaths each year from eating the wrong toadstool.

Sweet Chestnuts are also in season. I used to enjoy buying a bag of chestnuts from someone selling them on a cold winters night. Here's a recipe for 1kg of Sweet Chestnuts from the BBC site:

1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cross into the skin of each nut. Put in a roasting tin and bake until the skins open and the insides are tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Serve in paper bags, if you like. To eat, peel away the tough outer skin and the pithy white inner skin to get to the sweet kernel.

This is just about simple enough for me to manage, but I'd need to get some paper bags to do it properly.

I had a total of just six moths from last nights trapping, four Feathered Ranunculus and single Large and Lesser Yellow Underwings, a poor return in October.


Deslilas said...

If you call them "coulemelle" instead of "lépiote élevée", it's easier to eat, it sounds so well like "miel" (honey).

Tony Morris said...

Thanks for that, of course an "old Chestnut" has a different meaning in English!