Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Mushrooms Mushrooms Mushrooms
Lithuanians love their mushrooms. Hundreds of varieties of fungi fill the forests, but many are poisonous, and collectors comb the forests only for the best tasting varieties. This year was particularly favorable for these delicacies. Jurgita gave me instruction on the art of mushroom collecting. It is imperative that one understands the edible varieties from the poisonous. Annually, people die in Lithuania from such an error. I found out that even the edible ones must be boiled before use. Directly from the open market, I fried a variety of forest mushroom in butter and later had a stomach ache. Glad it was not the fly agaric,(red mushroom in photo) a very deadly, but beautiful fungus.
Immediately after harvest, mushrooms must be freed of forest debris by scraping or brushing. Next they are boiled in salt water. Mushrooms can now be used in soups or salad or fried in butter. Mushrooms can be preserved in sterile jars in brine, or dried.