Foraging for mushrooms is not exactly art – it is a cultural pastime and a culinary adventure. In most Central and Eastern European countries, foraging was not only a skill pased down by our caregivers, it was at times a necessity. When I close my eyes I can still remember the earthy scent of drying mushrooms in our attic. The precious trophies were sliced and laid out on newspapers in the hottest and driest place in the house. It was a bounty any forager would be proud of and a promise of warm winter soups and a special cabbage dish for Christmas dinner. Among europeans mushroom picking can get quite competitive, and you never reveal the locations of your finds. Certain fungi typically grow in the same spot where you found them the year before. Immigrants brought this hobby with them to the US and never gave it up. Every fall my father still seeks out mushrooms and promptly makes a soup unlike any you will find at a fine restaurant. Foraging in the US has been on the rise. Today it is the communing with nature, exercise and technology-free time with loved ones that draws us into the woods. The discovery of fungi takes smarts, luck and when mushroom picking you better know your poisonous mushrooms. If you find yourself tempted by this new hobby, October is the best time for mushroom picking.
The world of fungi has grown to new innovative heights. The science is not there yet, but some of us always knew how special mushrooms can be. We know the mental health community could benefit greatly. In the meantime, we give you our favorite finds on the market right now. Whether you seek calm, gut healing, better skin, or a memory boost, there is something on the list for everyone.
FUNGI TO THE RESCUE – MUSHROOM PRODUCTS WE LOVE