Mushroom picking is on the rise again. But few people really know about mushrooms. There are many things to consider when collecting and cooking the plants.
Champignon, boletus, chanterelle – most have heard of these mushrooms. But knowledge often ends here. That can be dangerous, at least when you get the idea to pick up your dinner yourself in the forest.
No one should pick mushrooms without prior knowledge, warns Peter Karasch from the German Society for Mycology. “There is a high likelihood of confusion.” In the worst case, such a mix-up will be fatal.
But where can you find mushrooms in Germany? “It has to be sufficiently moist,” explains the expert. The mushroom season lasts roughly from June to November. On the website of the German Society for Mycology, everyone can look up where which mushrooms are distributed in Germany and how collectors can recognize them. Karasch recommends a basket for collecting. “This gives the mushrooms air and is not crushed.” Since commercial collecting is prohibited, collectors should not exceed one kilogram. “Anyone caught with more than two kilograms of mushrooms must expect a fine.”
In addition to edible species, poisonous species also grow in this country. The greatest danger comes from the poisonous green death cap mushroom, which is easily confused with the edible green field hornbill. Even small amounts of this fungus can be fatal. “Basically, almost all badly poisonous mushrooms are leaf mushrooms,” explains Karasch. These mushrooms can be recognized by the lamellas below the hat. Conversely, mushrooms with tubes, the underside of which is more like a sponge, often pose no danger. Even so, laypeople should never eat mushrooms they do not know.
Typical symptoms of mushroom poisoning are nausea, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Sufferers should contact a doctor or the hospital immediately. “If possible, you should take leftover mushrooms with you for diagnosis,” says Peter Karasch.
But not only poison mushrooms, old or raw mushrooms can also be incompatible. Except for the boletus and the cultivated mushrooms, most edible mushrooms are inedible raw. Dieter Macht, mushroom advisor at the Frankfurt am Main health department, therefore advises always cooking mushrooms at over 75 degrees. “The taste is most intense when you sear mushrooms in a pan so that they don’t water out too much,” he says. It is important not to wash the mushrooms with water before preparing them, but rather to rub them with a brush or cloth.
There is no longer any recommended quantity for mushrooms. Experts used to recommend a maximum of 250 grams per week. Too much of it, like any other food, is still not healthy. “In terms of health, there is nothing wrong with eating it,” says Antje Gahl from the German Nutrition Society.
Edible mushrooms are rich in nutrients and the B vitamin folate, which the body is normally not as well supplied with. They are also low in calories. Most mushrooms, however, only keep themselves refrigerated for a few days. “If you have brown or very soft bruises, you should therefore refrain from consuming it,” explains Gahl.
Hohenau (dpa / tmn)