Foraging in autumn : our first mushroom hunting at Forêt du Jorat …

Although my initial forage at Forêt du Jorat two days after the introductory course to mushrooms in that forest ended with a little disappointment, … I went back again to the same forest about a week later to try again. And this time, I was accompanied by the hubby, who offered to go ‘mushrooming’ with me, on the condition that we would use our bicycles so that he could also show me the vastness of the forest while we would be looking for mushrooms.

As I had not had cycled for quite some time and as it is an uphill ride all the way to the forest from our home … it took us longer than expected to get to the forest.

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Along the way … I got off the bicycle several times to walk whenever we had to go up a steep slope … so that the hubby had to get off his bicycle, too, so that he could help to push mine. 🙂 And then the brief stops at a bakery to get something to eat as well as at two other spots to try to look for some apples and pears to pick caused a further delay to our arrival at the forest.

Okay … as the forest was huge it, therefore, made practical sense to use a bicycle to get around the forest so that we could cover a lot of ground quickly. However, in order to look for mushrooms, we needed to get off the bicycle and to walk in the forest interior, away from the paths and roads. So after having cycled for some time, I told the hubby that it was time to do some walking on the forest ground so that we could do some serious mushrooms hunting and gathering.

Certainly, there were plenty of mushrooms in that forest … but most were not of the edible kind.

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Among those which we spotted in quite a reasonable number were these toothed-jelly fungus (pseudohydnum gelatinosum). Their colour is almost translucent white and the texture is like jelly, which accounts for its name. We did not know then that they were, in fact, edible and so we did not pick any to bring home. But as their taste is supposed to be flavourless … it was no great loss for us not to pick any to try lah!

DSCN2781.AAmazingly I spotted these beautiful earthstar (Geastrummushrooms while I was cycling … and I simply had to stop so that I could take a closer look and take some snapshots of them. There were a few of them and all were in perfect star shape. (They are not edible, by the way … which helps to ‘protect’ them from foragers!)

DSCN2786AAnd later when we stopped at a spot to look for some edible mushrooms, I spotted these two mushrooms which looked quite strange, I thought. It was only much, much later that I learnt that these were also earthstar mushrooms (but after their outer peridium has lost its star-like shape).

By this time, we still had not managed to find any edible mushrooms … except for some amethyst deceivers.

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It was only when we made our last stop to look for mushrooms that the hubby spotted a few of these mushrooms. Although I was not 100% certain, I strongly believed that they were autumn chanterelles (from the photo in my tiny guidebook as well as from the videos that I had watched the night before on YouTube). So I picked the few that we saw so that I could later get them identified by the mushroom inspectors.

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And later as I was preparing to leave the area to head to my bicycle so that we could start making our way back home …  I spotted these mushrooms growing at the side of an old tree stump that I had been standing on to have my last look at the surrounding.

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I was even less certain (than the ones that the hubby had spotted earlier) if they were indeed autumn chanterelles … but I made a last-minute decision to pick all that I could find there so that I could get them verified as well.

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And then, as we were cycling along one stretch while making our way back out of the forest to head for home, I spotted this mushroom while cycling past it. I had thought that it looked like a bolete. So although the hubby was already cycling far ahead of me, I quickly called out to him to let him know that I wanted to stop to check out this mushroom.

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Not far from the first mushroom, I spotted more of these mushrooms. As there are many different species of bolete mushrooms (some of which are not edible), I decided that I would pick these to bring to the mushroom inspectors to help me identify them as well.

DSCN7225AEarly the next morning, we made our first visit to the Office of Mushroom Inspectors located at the edge of the forest (in an area called ‘Boscal’) for them to assess the edibility of the mushrooms that we had gathered.

Edible mushroomsThe small loot from our first cycling cum mushroom expedition at Forêt du Jorat. As identified by the mushroom inspectors, they are : (top pictures) autumn chanterelles or tube chanterelles (craterellus tubaeformis) which I had placed separately as I was less sure of the ones on the left and as I did not want to get them mixed up; (bottom pictures) amethyst deceivers ((laccaria amethystina) on the left and red cracking bolete (boletus chrysenteron) on the right.

And yes … they are all edible! 😀

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Unfortunately, when the red-cracking boletes were cut, they were found to be not in the best of condition … so that except for one young small one, the rest had to be thrown away! Regardless, I was glad to have been able to learn to identify this particular bolete even if we did not get to enjoy them.

The tube chanterelles, however, seemed to make a yummy addition in fondue … something that we were quite happy to find out  … so much so that we decided to go back to the forest the following week for another cycling cum mushroom hunting expedition! 🙂

Other entries on foraging in autumn:

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