Mushroom picking is a centuries-old Polish tradition and at the same time a great family entertainment and relaxing form of recreation in nature. Without mushrooms, it is impossible to imagine our kitchen, and yet how much better the handpicked and prepared ones taste. The State Forests invite all lovers of palate pleasure and healthy recreation to our typical forests, stunning at this time of year.
Poles who settle abroad are often surprised by the lack of habit of picking mushrooms and their low availability. This is partly due to the dominant private ownership in forests, which limits access to them, but also regulations. In many countries, such as Germany or the United Kingdom, a single person can only harvest a certain number of mushrooms (up to 1. 5-2 kg). In Belgium or the Netherlands, their collection is prohibited in most regions or the whole country. In addition to quantitative limits, there are also temporary limits, as in Austria. In France, even for mushroom picking in public forests, you have to pay a lot of money, and you can keep the fruiting bodies only for your use.
Mushrooms are our tradition, a whole cultural phenomenon and an element of our identity. More than 450 years ago, the view of mushrooms drying in the larder was commented on in the autumn by a kind-hearted landowner Mikołaj Rej. "The ladies are chasing the slender boletus, whose song calls it mushrooms' colonel" - this is a fragment of a well-known description of mushroom picking as social entertainment in "Pan Tadeusz" by Adam Mickiewicz.
Today, for many people, it is mainly an excellent way of spending free time with family and friends, integrating all generations. For others, the collection and sale of mushrooms is also a job and a way to supplement their home budgets. All of them share a passion for mushroom taste: dried, marinated, stewed or fried are an indispensable ingredient of typical dishes in our kitchen.
Author: Monika Tobiszowska
Source: Poland Daily