Mushroom harvest in Romania by Petr Palouš
Wild mushrooms picking in Romania
Wild mushrooms picking in Romania

Most of these mushrooms of the highly praised boletus edulis variety will end up in the dishes served by West-European restaurants. The countries particularly fond of the gourmet specialty food are Italy, France and Germany where customers willingly pay for it several times more than for top quality meat.

Yet the systematic over-picking may in a long run cause far more harm to the woods of the beautiful Karpatian Mountains than any short-term benefit to the Romanian economy - especially since the picking is done in a rather unprofessional way. Paradoxically, the very countries which import East-European mushrooms impose severe limits on mushroom picking in their own woods!

When picking a mushroom, the fruiting body should be neatly cut-off close to the bottom of its foot of shaft, taking care not to damage the mycellium in the ground below it, which is the fungus proper. Never just carelessly yank a mushroom out of the ground! Somebody should tell the young lad, otherwise his kids are never going to see a harvest like this one!

Romania, September 2006

Editor's note: Petr Palouš is an amateur photographer and new Log Cabin guest. Welcome, Peter!

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