One of the most charming activities to do in autumn is getting lost in the countryside and coming back home with a basket full of delicious mushrooms.
Especially exciting for the kids but fun for everyone, this tradition is ideal to do with the entire family, friends, or alone (if you have any idea of which mushrooms are edible). As you can imagine, some of them are very poisonous, and the ingestion could lead to a serious intoxication. So, the first advice is to go with someone that knows how to do it.
There are many organizations that offer walking tours and guided activities like Es Amunts, or if you have kind pages neighbours, you can also knock their doors and ask for help, some of them might like to share their experiences. You can also check out this article about the most dangerous mushrooms in Ibiza.
However, the Ibizan biologist Guillermo Clavel Marí gave me some interesting tips that I’d like to share with you in case you feel ready to explore:
- The most important: be sure you pick the right ones (below you’ll find names and pictures of the most common ones to avoid any risk).
- Always use a basket instead of plastic bags to contribute with the spore scattering (this way they will continue growing).
- The best to cut them out is using a knife (there are some with a curved blade and a serrated back to remove the mushroom cuticles easier).
- Make sure that the specimens you find are fleshy, not dried out or decaying, cut them leaving two inches of the mushroom intact in the place where it’s growing (and if it breaks, just be friendly and leave the rest of it near the area).
- To cook them, there are plenty of recipes, but the best way to appreciate its flavour is keeping it simply: clean the mushrooms (don’t wash them, use a paper instead), then cut and sauté them in a little butter and olive oil (add garlic for the perfect touch).
- It’s good to know they store for up to a week in the refrigerator in a closed paper bag.
- Cool, rainy days are the best to seek for them—when the mist settles over the fields and forests—as the mushrooms come out of hiding and pop up out of nowhere, magically.
- Enjoy the experience beyond the results. Sometimes, mushrooms are not there, still, it feels amazing to wander around, smelling, touching and connecting with nature.
To love the mushrooms, even more, you should know that the fungi are a separate kingdom of living things, different from animals and plants. And the mushrooms that we see above ground are actually the fruit of the fungi webs—of which there are more than a thousand different species—that lie underground. Mushrooms are spore-holders for reproduction; they spread the spores to a new area by wind, animals, and water, and they are responsible for recycling the nutrients in the ecosystems. Pretty cool, hmm?
The most common mushrooms in Ibiza are the Gírgolas, recognizable by its “ear” or “shell” shape, the Bolets and Xampinyóns, white coloured, with a size from 5 to 8 cm, which you can found mostly in Es Cavallet and Ses Salines Nature Park, the Cama de Perdiu/Pebrasset de Moro, reddish-earth coloured with saffron dots, and the Pebrás/Rovellons, the most consumed and tasty mushroom in the Balearics, also with toasted-reddish colours, and a size of 6-15 cm.
The joy and gratitude it makes you feel picking and collecting your own food right from the land is something we all should experience, at least once in our lives. So, I hope you’ve found this article helpful and someday, you go out to explore the island (and don’t forget to share your experience with us tagging #mysecretibiza on our pics!).
Long live to the mushrooms!
Featured images: lovefoodibiza.com