Autumn without mushrooms? Not in Pomorskie! The entire region, from the Baltic Sea to Tuchola Forest, is one of the most “mushroom-friendly” areas in Poland. From mid-August until even very early winter, the most magnificent kinds of mushrooms can be found here… along with throngs of mushroom hunters, who stroll along forest paths with large wicker baskets.
Family mushroom hunting, friendly rivalry, or solitary trips in search of boletus mushrooms and peace and quiet… Mushroom hunting is a way of spending free time for many amateurs of the forest. It is also a historical, Polish tradition, passed on from generation to generation, described in many texts of culture (the most prominent example is a description of mushroom hunting in “Pan Tadeusz” by the famous Adam Mickiewicz).
From the classic penny bun mushrooms, through slippery jacks, honey fungi, bay boletes to cauliflower fungi, which turned out to be a hit in recent years and has successfully substituted truffles in France. Forests of Pomorskie are abundant in different kinds of mushrooms. The season for them, of course, begins with the end of summer and beginning of autumn. However, it is worth noting that first “noble” mushrooms, such as chanterelles appear as early as spring.
Everyone loves to pick mushrooms and eat them. This is why restaurants and their autumn seasonal menus are full of mushroom-based dishes.
Gdynia-based Biały Królik restaurant’s head chef recommends cream of boletus mushrooms and ravioli with chicken yolk. The cream is based on strong mushroom broth, made with boletus hats and vegetables fried on brown butter.
Correze restaurant in Gdańsk offers maturing beef steak with purple sweet potato, broccoli, black salsify, terrine and mushrooms.
Zafishowani restaurant located in Hotel Hanza, Gdańsk, proves that mushrooms are perfect sidings for fish dishes. This is why you will find eel with potato sauce, served with baked shallot, mushrooms, and parsley olive.
Brovarnia restaurant at Hotel Gdańsk also promotes a combination of mushrooms and fish. The head chef serves fresh cod with marinated chanterelles and marinated broad beans, buttery potato puree, and broad bean puree.
Mushrooms are a delicacy, and mushroom foraging is a lifestyle. Most devoted mushroom hunters go out even several times a day. Marzena Górnisiewicz, founder of Wioska Runa Leśnego in Borkowo Lęborskie, admits that during the season, she is easier to be found in the forest than at home. – It does happen that I go out three times a day. Sometimes, I pick so many mushrooms that I’m unable to lift the basket – says Marzena Górnisiewicz.
There are several rules to remember about when going mushroom picking. You should always store picked mushrooms in a wicker basket, to let them breathe. You do not cut the mushrooms using a knife, but twist them off straight from the ground. If you are uncertain whether a given mushroom is edible, better leave it alone. And remember that nature is unity – boletus mushrooms and bay boletes will appear when the Moon is full…