Foraging mushrooms in winter: What mushrooms can you find at this time and don’t mind the frost
Foraging mushrooms in winter is fantastic. If you love mushrooms and going out in winter, this is definitely an activity for you.
Mushroom lovers certainly have a good supply of mushrooms for the winter, but there is nothing better than fresh mushrooms. The real mushroom season starts in summer and ends in autumn, but you can collect edible mushrooms all year round. Even in winter! Winter mushrooms grow. There are only a few of them, but they are tasty mushrooms, and some are even medicinal. We can find them in forests and also along rivers or ponds. They grow mainly on deciduous trees, such as beeches, willows, alders, and the like.
If there are no long-term frosts, there is a good chance that you will return from the forest with a full basket and cook your favorite mushroom food, even though summer is still far away and the windows are unkind. Let’s imagine a few winter mushrooms and a few tips about their collection and treatment.
Let’s show you which excellent mushrooms we can find
Velvet shank (Flammulina velutipes)
The star of winter mushrooms is the velvet shank. You can find it on the stumps and fallen trunks of deciduous trees even in the winter months, where it grows in rich clumps. This fruit is very hardy and can withstand temperatures below -10 degrees. Because you can often find it during the Christmas holidays, even in the snow, it is nicknamed the “Christmas mushroom”. It has a pleasant mushroom scent and is great for soups.
Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Oyster mushroom is also very hardy fungus. Like the penny, it also grows on stumps, fallen branches, and trunks of deciduous trees. He prefers poplars, walnuts, and beeches. When a lucky mushroom picker finds it, he usually reaps large bunches. It’s even easier than looking for it, especially if you don’t know the good places to spend it every winter, it’s to grow it.
In the kitchen, people look for it for its versatility – it is great in ready meals, pickled in vinegar, but also dried. Suitable for soups, sauces, and pickles. Oyster mushroom is also important in medicine. It has demonstrable effects on strengthening the immune system and has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Interesting fact: The name of the popular oyster mushroom derives from the appearance of this excellent mushroom – its fruiting bodies resemble oysters.
Winter Chanterelle mushroom (Cantherellus tubaeformis)
This funnel fungus is also known as “Yellowfoot”. In autumn we find it in coniferous and mixed forests, mainly in moist moss, often in more numerous experiences. Prefers acidic soils. The fruiting bodies are thin, so they are great for drying, which we don’t even have to cut. It grows so abundantly that it can make whole carpets, from July until the first major frost in December. Edible, but not very plush fungus, it is worth collecting the attack only when it grows in large quantities. Compared to other mushrooms, this one is also more fragile, therefore digestible, it is suitable, for example, in soups.
Wood ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)
Judas’ ear grows abundantly and practically all year round on dead elder and acacia wood, but you can also find it on other types of deciduous trees. It is used mainly in Asian dishes, but it is also excellent in salads, soups, and mushroom mixes and is also a medicine. All you need is one photo and you can’t confuse this mushroom. The mushroom is excellent raw and cooked. The wood ear also has many healing effects similar to oyster mushrooms.
When is the right time for foraging mushrooms in winter?
The best time for foraging mushrooms in winter is at the time of the glaze if it is around zero or slightly above it (during severe frosts, even the fruiting bodies of winter mushrooms do not grow), then you can find your favorites in the forest, such as oyster mushrooms or velvet shank.
Many mushrooms will not always be suitable for harvesting. As with almost all types of fungi, if “hardened individuals” often freeze and then thaw again, they are no longer suitable for collection and consumption.
As you can see, the mushroom season is far from over and nature allows us to treat our favorite mushroom food practically all year round. Foraging mushrooms in winter is so much fun!!
Finally, let’s look at a few myths about mushrooms
Mushrooms bitten by animals must be edible.
“Nonsense. Most often, mushrooms are bitten by snails and they have completely different digestion than humans. They don’t mind poisonous mushrooms at all. “
Leave the slices in the forest, a new fungus will grow from them.
“Absolute nonsense. The fungus is mainly a fungus, which is thin whitish fibers. What grows up is just a reproductive organ. That is why it is good to cover the arcades after digging out so that they do not dry out. “
Mushroom food should not be heated, the next day the mushrooms are spoiled.
“That’s not true, because if we cook the mushrooms well enough, we can treat them like meat – so keep them in the fridge. You can even freeze the cooked mushrooms and they’ll last half a year.”
It is best to drink milk for mushroom poisoning.
“It simply came to our notice then. The milk will clot and will definitely not help. In the event of symptoms of poisoning, the most important thing is to induce vomiting, see a doctor and bring leftover mushrooms, food, or vomit for laboratory analysis. One should also drink a lot, not milk but water.
If you like mushrooms and you are looking for variants of how to prepare this delicacy, you can look in our section with recipes and enrich your cookbook with other excellent recipes HERE.