Baskets of mushrooms.

Baskets of mushrooms.

01-11-2021Juan Carlos Vich

There are around 1,350 species of mushrooms in the Balearic Islands, but only about 50 of them can be eaten.

Esclata-sangs and picornells are the most sought after and thousands of fans pick them at this time of year.

Picking mushrooms is a complicated business and those who are experts can do it without damaging the ‘mycelium’, by cutting the trunk at the base, scattering the spores and placing the mushroom in a basket, so that the spores continue to spread while they’re walking and the mushrooms is intact when they get home.

Before removing the stem make sure that it is in good condition; a hard stem suggests that there are no worms, but if it is not healthy, or if it’s old, it’s best to leave the mushroom in its natural habitat, because it probably won’t taste very good anyway, whereas when left where it is, the process of reproduction will continue, bringing new specimens in just a few weeks.

Man with baskets of mushrooms.

After a sluggish start to the season, the harvest is starting to take off. The esclata-sangs hide under bushes and searchers who find good harvests sometimes keep their favourite places secret.

Gastronomic pleasure

People love to grill mushrooms or put them on the barbecue with a little salt and olive oil, or minced garlic and parsley, others have them as a side dish with meat or fish or add a few sliced mushrooms to their pa amb oli.

Others love the flavour that the esclata-sangs brings to arròz brut and other traditional Mallorcan meat dishes and they are often roughly chopped and added to soups along with spinach, chard, cabbage and a few pieces of sausage.

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