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Mushroom Man

September is mushroom season!

by Mushroom Man published on
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I never have to leave my front door to find out how well the mushroom season is going - I just need to count the pictures people send me when they find something they don't recognise.

Well they have been sending a lot recently...

I know nearly everyone hates a wet August but for the mushroom hunter it is something of a treat and this is the first mushroom rich beginning to September for many years, in Dorset at least.

And the continuing good weather (torrential rain!) should ensure mushrooms right into October. If you ever thought of going out to look for mushrooms then this is the time.

The last three years have been rather poor but 2010 promises a bumper crop. Just remember to take it slowly, always check every characteristic of your find to makes sure it matches the description in your book, never believe the old wives tales about peelable caps or silver spoons and never jump to conclusions.

Well, of course, I am not satisfied to just look at pictures so I have been out mushrooming for the last three days. Here is what I found:

Ceps (lots!), Chanterelle (just a few), Saffron Milkcap (lots and lots), Deceiver, Tawny Grisette, Charcoal Burner, Green-cracked Brittlegill, Bay Bolete, Giant Puffball (a perfect, small, firm one), Blusher, Parasols (more than I could easily carry) and a huge Meripilus giganteus (not particularly edible but very beautiful).

I also came across on nice group of Hare's Ears (Otidia onotica), again not edible but a lovely find.

The Parasols I cooked in a proper tempura batter (made with corn flour, plain flour, salt and cold lager and only lightly whisked so that it remains lumpy.

It is a glorious starter when served with a soy sauce, rice wine and sesame seed dip.

The only problem I had with my mushroom haul was my own fault - I proudly showed the Ceps to Hugh and ended up losing of few. It's not the first time this has happened - I never learn.

- In the River Cottage Mushroom Handbook John explains how to identify and collect (or avoid) the mushrooms and toadstools we are most likely to encounter in the UK with diagrams, detailed profiles and handy tips.

The handbook is completed by more than thirty simple and delicious mushroom recipes from the River Cottage team.

Order your Mushroom Handbook now for our special offer price of £9.99 (RRP £14.99). If you are a River Cottage Member you will get a further 10% discount too!
10 replies
Replied on

The Ceps are gone..... they will be missed.... What an amazing season it has been! I have found ceps of 2kg and more. What a treat to go every weekend and having to empty my basket after just 20 minutes of foraging!

Luckily the Chanterelles are back with a vengeance. Among them i even found some winther chanterelle, a few Hedgehogs and even some horns of plenty. I love this time of the year....

Replied on

Hi John, I got your book for xmas last year so after many months of waiting I am finally getting some use! I have identified beefsteak, charcoal burners, tawny grisettes, puffballs and orange birch boletes! The best thing is my 8 year old son is fascinated by them and seems to find them much better than I do!

Replied on

It really is looking good isn't it. Never had so many Chanterelles, still lots more coming up, shame they take so long. The ceps have been really good and solid, no maggots. Almost a kilo of amethyst deceivers in one spot too. Happy days :-)

Replied on

Hi John.

You are so (w)right about this year. It is as good or better than 2006. I have been collecting so many cepes and chanterelles that Lynn is starting to get annoyed with me as the freezer is full of partially cooked vacuum packed Cepes, the refrigerator has constantly a tray dedicated to the latest picking and i have ran out of preserving jars! I check my local woods every 3 or 4 days, wondering when will this "gold rush" end but it does not. Only this morning, same spot as last Sunday, I must have collected a good 6 to 7kg. I even have started to give them away! Something that I never thought I'd do! Let this great showery and sunny weather carry on! My next project is to try to make Cepe Ice-cream.

Replied on

Dear John, I have found a lot of shrooms in the garden under a large pine, not sure what they are, i think maybe slippery jacks..... my profile pic is one of them if you have any ideas please?

Replied on

It does seem a wonderful year for them... I have collected a couple of kilos of ceps every day for the past week.. the best are dried or drying now, the rest we have eaten in various forms! We also have quite a few chanterelles and yesterday we ate giant puffball fried in butter and salt.. wow! Cant wait to get out again!!

Replied on

Definitely a bumper crop of mushrooms, I have collected baskets of summer chanterelles over the last month and first of the autumn ones yesterday. Ceps have been too infested with creepy crawlies up until now but am hoping that with our first frosts of the year will be able to find some nice specimens. I am only a beginner in the mushroom hunting field. I find it difficult identifying some of the species as there are so many mushrooms over here in Sweden. The woods are teaming with them! Any advice re good books which will cover Swedish mushrooms only found ones in Swedish and am not that proficient.

Replied on

Hi John, looking like a bumper year up here in the Newcastle region; found pretty much all on your list, only a few ceps but compensated for by some large Orange Birch Boletes.
My favourite so far was a beautiful Flamming Pholiota (photos don't do it justice!) and a young Yellow Stainer, where the veil was splitting equally to form what looked like a six petal flower...we're taking the students out soon, I'll let you know of any unusual finds.

Replied on

Hey John - I found some giant puffballs the size of footballs last week - behind my local pub! I've never come across them like that before. amazing.

Replied on

well this has given me the taste for mushrooms now! i am going to have to get hunting when i get home.... although i should probably go on your course first John!

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