Mushroom Foraging - A guide for Danish mushrooms
Mushroom risotto with danish mushrooms such as 'Karl Johan' and 'chanterelles' is the best reason to go foraging for mushrooms in the beautiful nature of North Jutland. Here we will give you some tips so you will have the best day in Danish nature.
The fashion of today’s cuisine is to cook all food from scratch and, hence, edible mushrooms constitute a delicious delicacy. Therefore, to go mushrooming or participating in a mushroom-gathering trip in North Jutland is more than just a wonderful social occasion, it is also a fine way of finding delicious produce to be served at your table.
The North Jutland woodland floors provide chanterelle, King Bolete mushroom, and common mushroom. It is, however, of importance that, before gathering mushrooms, you gather knowledge about which type of mushroom is edible and which to leave.
Where to find mushrooms?
Edible mushrooms are found in most Danish wooded areas. In private forest areas, you cannot leave the trails or roads, so it is best to go to the government-owned forest, which there are lots of, and roaming freely is allowed.
The best forest for mushrooming in North Jutland
Here the experienced mushroomers go foraging
What to bring?
Before you go, bring the best tools for a great mushroom trip.
- Mushroom basket - Mushrooms needs air to keep, a plastic bag or similar will make the mushrooms go bad and even create poisonous gasses.
- Mushroom knife - A small and sharp knife, to cut off parts gone bad.
- Mushroom book - To know the types of mushrooms with advice on what to eat and what not to eat, or even touch.
- Brush - To remove the dirt of the mushrooms.
- A map - to mark down the best mushroom spots.
Remember suitable footwear and clothes.
When will I find the mushrooms?
You can go mushrooming all year, but the best time is during autumn. The mushrooms demand lots of water, so if the late summer has been wet, you are sure to score when you go mushrooming.
Photo:Nicolas Cho Meier
Edible mushrooms in Denmark
Before you start eating away you should know what type of mushrooms you will find in the Danish forests. There are around 3000 species of mushrooms in Denmark and it can be hard to determine which one you have in front of you. Because of this, make sure to bring a mushroom guide or book.
The Danish Ministry of Environment and Food has 5 tips for you on mushrooms:
- Only eat mushrooms you know 100%
- Only ingest the known edible mushrooms
- Only use fresh mushrooms for cooking and cool down leftovers immediately
- Start out with a small portion of edible mushrooms, as you may be allergic
- Do not eat them raw
To help guide you, here are three of the most popular edible mushrooms and some great recipes for them.
Best edible mushrooms
Karl Johan (edible Boletus)
Karl Johan mushroom is probably the best edible mushroom you can find. You can find it mainly under beech and spruce where the trees are not standing too close to each other and you can often see the mushroom in August until October after rainy periods. You can recognize Karl Johan because of the brown hat and the white/light brown stem. The mushroom can get quite big (the hat up to 20-25 cm) and if you find them without worms inside, then you can enjoy the taste in your meal - for instance a mushroom risotto.
Bonusinfo: The mushroom Karl Johan was named after the Swedish king Karl Johan XIV who loved this edible boletus.
The common chanterelle can be found in all parts of Denmark, often under deciduous and coniferous trees. You can start seeing them in July, the number grows even more in August and you can find it until November. The mushroom is easy to recognize with the yellow colour, funnel-shaped hat and wavy edge which is why it does not really look like one of the poisonous mushrooms. If you try the mushroom raw, it will taste bitter, but this disappears while cooking. The best and most popular way of cooking them is searing in a warm pan in oil or butter.
The funnel chanterelle can also be found in a deciduous and coniferous forest and preferably in moist mossy soil. The mushroom appears in August/September and disappears again with the frost. The funnel-shaped hat and the wavy edge of the funnel chanterelle looks like the common chanterelle, only the colour is grey-brown in the top (but still a yellow stem). Because of the colour the mushroom can be difficult to spot on the ground of the forest but if you find one, you will probably see more in the same place. The funnel chanterelle is a bit smaller than the common chanterelle and is therefore suitable for drying.
Other edible mushrooms
Photo:Daniel Brandt Andersen
Cooking with mushrooms
Be sure to clean the mushrooms for any dirt, and know how to handle the specific mushroom your are cooking.