Autumn is the mushroom season par excellence: a golden time between the hot summer and the cold winter in which mushrooms, along with vegetables such as sweet potato and pumpkin, or nuts such as roasted chestnuts, become the protagonists of our dishes.

Going out for mushrooms with children can be an excellent way to enjoy nature, practice a pleasant outdoor activity, connect with the magic of the season, admire the transformation of the autumn landscape or make the little ones in the house become aware environmental. It also allows you to enjoy a good family meal afterward. Who doesn't want to prepare a delicious boletus risotto, a wild mushroom scramble or a veal fricandó with trumpets of death?

The first thing you should be clear about is safety: you have to be careful when going for mushrooms, since many species can cause confusion and be dangerous or poisonous. Therefore, it is important to select only those specimens that you recognize perfectly, and help yourself with specialized guides, applications or even opt for mycological outings with expert associations in the field when you still do not have much expertise.

Basic kit to go for mushrooms

Let's start with the basics: this is the basic kit for going mushroom picking, with all the essential elements you will need to go on a mycological route.

  • Basket : putting mushrooms in a bag would be sacrilege. You should always carry a basket.

  • Comfortable clothing : you cannot miss loose clothing that allows freedom of movement - such as a tracksuit -, footwear adapted to the rain and the countryside - boots for walking, for example - and of course, a raincoat for the rain. If it's a very windy day, don't forget the windbreaker. Pants should have many pockets and clothing should be waterproof.

  • Pocketknife or knife : there are pocketknives specially designed to carry out this activity. You can also opt for knives with a brush to remove the earth, or a tranchete knife, typical of the harvest, and ideal for oyster mushrooms or chanterelles. It is not recommended that younger children have any type of access to these items. Older children or teenagers can try collecting mushrooms themselves.

  • Brushes : they are designed to clean each specimen that you place in the basket, removing the soil from the stem and, in addition, releasing spores.

  • Backpack to store all the tools, clothing, maps, canteen and other objects that you will use during your mycological outing. Poles to help you walk, a compass to orient yourself in the forest, or water caps are optional.

  • Mycological guide: specialized books have illustrations, photographs and explanations to learn to differentiate the different types of mushrooms. You can consult books such as the Guide to Mushrooms of the Iberian Peninsula , the Field Guide to Mushrooms in Spain and Europe , Mushrooms and Mushrooms: Treasure of Our Mountains or Mushrooms. The definitive guide.

  • Apps to go for mushrooms: You can use mycological apps like Boletus -with a limited free version and a very complete paid version-, Fungipedia -whose free version tells you about 250 spices and the full version, with 500 species and more than 2000 photographs- or Boletaires, available in Catalan and which includes maps to geolocate, maps of fields and entrances to farms.

Easiest mushrooms to recognize

Some of the easiest mushrooms to recognize are the boletus - with white flesh and a characteristic brown and ocher cap -, the trumpets of death - with a trumpet shape and a color that ranges between ash gray and black -, or the chanterelles - cylindrical in shape, hard flesh, yellowish in the center of the cap and carrot orange on the edge.

Also the cow's tongue mushroom - whose lower part has small stingers similar, precisely, to the tongue of a cow -, short and solid foot and compact, whitish and dense flesh or the chanterelle - with a showy yellow color and cup-shaped - .

5 very delicious mushroom recipes to make with children

  • Vegetarian nuggets : Chef Fabián Leon teaches how to prepare delicious homemade nuggets using oyster mushrooms instead of chicken. You'll see how delicious they are!

  • Gipsy Chef's fricandó: A traditional stew with the exquisite flavor of the trumpets of death and the magical touches of Gipsy Chef, from the battered seitan to the special touch that the pistachios give it.

  • Soupy rice with chanterelles: On Cookpad you can find this delicious, comforting recipe ideal for a cold day.

  • Boletus edulis sautéed with egg yolk : A classic dish to take advantage of the powerful flavor of what they say is the most delicious mushroom of all.

  • Meatballs with chanterelles : Delicious recipe to prepare with children, and dip bread in the sauce!

There are many more recipes, from mushroom risottos, to homemade pasta stuffed with mushrooms and truffle, mushroom empanadas, boletus carpaccio or warm salads. Enjoy autumn!


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