In the spring, few rush to the forest for quiet hunting, but in vain. Even under the last snow in the forests of central Russia, you can find many interesting and edible things. And if many have heard of morels, then such exotic names as strobiliurus or sarcosoma are known only to the most advanced mushroom pickers. This year their season started in April.
The most controversial spring mushrooms of our strip are the lines. In the spring, two main types are found in our forests – the giant line and the regular line. Only an experienced hunter can discern them externally, and that’s important. After all, if a giant line can be eaten, then an ordinary line, according to various sources, is poisonous.
Poisonous, however, most mushroom guides of past years, consider all lines. And yet the giant series (which the gourmet mushrooms affectionately call “gigas”) is unjustifiably offended. Officially, today it belongs to conditional edible mushrooms. The mushroom may contain a small amount of gyromitrin poison, which is completely neutralized when boiled. At the same time, according to the well-known mycologist Mikhail Vishnevsky, there is no gyromitrin at all in the giant morel. But in any case, the attention does not hurt – many advise to boil the mushroom for at least 15 minutes before cooking further. The mushroom has a delicate taste and goes well with sour cream and pasta.
As for the usual order, this mushroom is also classified as poisonous in Europe – as a deadly poisonous due to the large amount of gyromitrin contained in it. To learn to distinguish between these two species, it is best to go to the forest with an experienced mushroom picker. The visual signs are not obvious: the line of the usual “lamb” is smaller than that of the giant and the leg is thin, does not merge with the hat. In most cases, the usual line is darker than the giant, but again it is better not to rely on this sign. The color can vary significantly depending on the habitat, humidity, weather, etc.
There are lovers who consider even a line an ordinary delicacy – they assure that after boiling twice in a large amount of water or drying at 60 degrees with further aging for 60 days, the poison is neutralized. However, this is a very specific point of view. It would still be right, with the slightest doubt, to skip this mushroom. It is worth adding that the concentration on the lines of ordinary gyromitrin in different countries, and even in different parts of Russia, is different. The warmer the climate, the more poison in these mushrooms.
A mushroom picker’s real dream in the spring is morels and morel caps. The latter in the middle lane are more common, the former we have almost none. So far, in many reference books, both of these mushrooms are classified as conditionally edible, while in Europe there is no doubt that they are edible. In addition, morels are considered a delicacy, sold in European markets at a price of 40-100 euros per kilo and delivered to Michelin restaurants. In the middle of Russia, morels and morel caps “crawl” from March to May, however, the fruiting period is usually one week. The maximum is two. Therefore, mushroom pickers are really hunting for them.
Morels are completely edible mushrooms that do not need to be cooked. They prepare delicious sauces with morels, make risotto and pasta, serve with steaks and stew with various types of meat, make pate and bake quiche (pies). Morels can be frozen and dried, thus preparing this seasonal mushroom for the winter.
Morel caps are valued less than Morel. First, the lids do not have such a great taste and aroma. Many note that hats are sometimes donated with wet soil. Baking (5-10 minutes) helps eliminate this moist odor. Cooks also advise you to ruthlessly throw away the cotton feet of these mushrooms – this is where the unpleasant aroma is concentrated. But this is especially evident in mushrooms that grow in swampy areas. Second, in very rare cases, morel caps can cause eating disorders and allergic reactions from the gastrointestinal tract, so many reference books state that they should be boiled before cooking. “I always advise you to try new types of mushrooms in small portions to control your body’s reaction. then you can cook them like lettuces “, without prior heat treatment. The difference in the structure of the molds and the morel covers is clear. The lid is attached to the foot from above, like a hat placed on a stick. This hat can easily to be removed from the foot. The foot is wrapped in the structure “- says the manager of the mushroom group Polina Bondareva.
A little known but common mushroom in our latitudes is the Austrian sarcophagus. Despite the bright color, you should look for it – the sarcoscope (it is also an elf saucer) is often hidden in fallen branches under a layer of earth or even snow. Sarcoscif attracts mushroom pickers more with its beauty than its taste, but if you want, you can cook original and delicious dishes with it. However, it is not easy to collect it in large quantities, it is quite difficult to clean it.
Another spring mushroom that few have heard of is the edible strobiliurus. This is one of the oldest and, as the name suggests, edible mushrooms, which can be found as early as March, when the snow is just beginning to melt. This fungus grows on spruce cones that have fallen to the ground and sprouted in the ground. Prefers pits and plains where spring moisture has accumulated. The fungus has one major drawback – a tiny size, only 2-3 inches in length. Therefore, there is very little edible pulp, but it has such a pleasant and intense mushroom aroma that many mushroom collectors around the world do not lazy and collect these babies, considering them a real treat. Fortunately, the small size of these mushrooms is offset by their number – sometimes all adult spruce plantings are speckled with them.
Well, mushroom pickers consider the sarcoma spherical as the queen of the spring forests – this mushroom is listed in the Red Book of the capital region, while in Siberia it is widely distributed and a delicious stew is prepared. The sarcoma is credited with many miraculous healing properties. It looks very unusual – like a thick dark brown barrel with a black “mirror” on top. The sarcoma grows in fir forests. In recent years, it has been found more and more often in the Moscow region.
In general, in the spring in the forest there is something to take advantage of in every sense of the word.