What excites Russian and scares Americans (continued from September 26th)

Later, I went to Farmers Market with my husband and I saw there dried foxys (Cantharellus cibarius) for very high price for 50 grams. “See!  We could get it for free!” – I exclaimed.

That was 10 years ago, and after that we lived in Russia for 8 years and my husband learnt some differences in mushrooms and he accepted the fact you pick them in wild. Now, we came back to Atlanta and recently my daughter and I went to Starbucks close to our neighborhood.  On the way back I collected mushrooms you see on the picture.  I recognized mohovik (Boletus variegatus) and even few legendary white mushrooms (Boletaceae) Don’t confuse please with British white mushroom which is simple ChampignonsImageI was almost sure they were good to eat, however, I posted the picture on Facebook to consult with friends. So, there were different suggestions: 50% told to trash them, another 50% to eat.  While I was waiting for the right decisions, I fried them and eat.  By the way, my husband eat them too. I forgot how tasty a real mushrooms are (much better then Champignons and even Portobello what you can find here in any supermarket.  

A week ago, I went to hair dresser and the lady next to my master happened to be from Belarusian.  Naturally, we started to chat and she asked me: “Do you pick mushrooms here?” I said: “Yes”.  So, we exchanged recipes. There are plenty of ways to prepare mushrooms: fry, boil, salt, marinate, or bake with a pie. Yesterday, at the playground, the young Bulgarian mother told  me she ordered books from Amazon about mushroom picking.  She said that she left Bulgaria long time ago, but she wanted to do it here, in the US. “It’s strange-here is no competition!”- she said! It’s true-there is almost none, except all of us: Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and other Europeans who will compete soon for mushroom picking in our neighborhoods. But I don’t want confuse my American friends and make this sound less serious than it is.  Mushroom are very tasty, but can be extremely dangerous, even if you know them well. I don’t want to bring a bad statistic, but there is one.

“It is cultural,”- I tell my husband every time I bring wild mushrooms home -“I can’t help it”.  “Then just pick them, bring them home, and I’ll help you to trash them,”- he suggested.    



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