Culture, Mediterranean diet



Autumn is truly a wonderful season! Nature presents itself with a brilliant firework of colors, the pumpkins in the fields compete for size and mushrooms literally shoot out of the ground everywhere. Many people now have a renewed desire to dress warmly and head out into the forest armed with knives and baskets to collect mushrooms.

You can say with a clear conscience that the mushroom season has officially begun. But actually the mushroom season has no real beginning and no end, because due to the diversity of species, some specimens always grow all year round. It is true that most varieties sprout in the fall, but some do so in the summer and some in the middle of winter.

According to archaeological findings, mushrooms have been an important part of human life, both as food and medicine, for around 6,000 years. In Greek mythology, it was believed that mushrooms were created by the appearance of Zeus because they appeared after thunder and lightning, and the Romans also praised them as food for the gods. Today, mushrooms are a delicate basic ingredient in many kitchens around the world.



Some of the best-known and most prized varieties thrive in the Mediterranean region. Wild mushrooms common throughout the region include button mushrooms, chanterelles, morels, oysters, porcini mushrooms, trumpet mushrooms and of course truffles. The Matsutake or Pine Mushrooms are also among the common wild mushrooms collected throughout Spain and Portugal.

They are called funghi in Italy, setas in Spain, cogumelos in Portugal, and mantarlar in Turkish. In France, mushrooms are called champignons, with the Champignons de Paris – also known as portobello – being the best known.

Read the full article in Issue 26

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