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Hunting Season: Mushroom chasing on Vartsala

Long before the official start of the moose hunt, we are gripped by the hunting instinct. Armed with baskets we stalk through the forest. In the distance the crane hoots and welcomes our hunt. We're targeting the little ones in the woods. To the mushrooms. Here we go! Let's fight them, like the hunter says. Or, which fits better in our case, 'to Walde'. Because the forest on Vartsala is said to be full of mushrooms, at least according to the locals. At the end there is a happy ending and Rebecca cooks a delicious creamy chanterelle soup in our Woodcuisine.

Pine boletus, birch mushroom and chanterelle - armed with rubber boots and buckets we head into the forest.

The gold of the forest

When I open the Facebook group of our small community in Kustavi at the beginning of August, I notice the pictures of the buckets filled with mushrooms, which adorn every second post. Buckets filled to the brim with golden yellow chanterelles. Some even take orders via chat, then go into the forest and deliver the ordered goods promptly the next day. A liter, two liters or even five! I order two liters of the delicious little specialty and receive it on time the next morning. Aha, I think, so the forest is full of them. And so Rebecca and I set out and became mushroom hunters.

Rubber boots on, bucket in hand and off you go. But where to? Where are chanterelles & co actually hiding? People here like to share their loot, but not places to look. So we roam back and forth through the forest. We just can't find any chanterelles. We consult Goggle, Wikipedia and a digital mushroom guide. Chanterelles like to grow hidden under leaves and moss in deciduous or coniferous forests. That means as much as everywhere and nowhere. And somehow that seems to be true because locals say they exist here, but we haven't found one yet. The island can't be that big.

Good luck!

Around noon we take a break in one of the two restaurants on our island, the Spauna, and eat a little something to strengthen ourselves. It doesn't take long before an older couple enters the restaurant. Rubber boots, rain-soaked hair, a satisfied expression on your face. They were in the forest, they say, collecting mushrooms. Now they deserve an ice cream. The bucket is full... No, we don't ask where exactly they found the mushrooms - we want to try it ourselves. Besides, they certainly wouldn't have told us. After all, a good mushroom district remains a well-kept secret.

Rebecca discovered the first mushroom. A real chanterelle !

Back in the forest we pick up the trail again. We keep our eyes and ears open because we don't want our prey to slip through our fingers again. Can you actually hear mushrooms? We trudge through the undergrowth. Take weather. Nothing. A white-tailed deer crosses our path. Whether they just eat up all the mushrooms, I think.

In the afternoon we set off again. This time by bike. We ride all the paths on the island and then we stop somewhere at the edge of the forest. Next to us in the undergrowth, hidden in the grass, it glows yellow. The knives are drawn. Here between forest and field we spotted them. The closer we get to them, the more our buckets fill up. And then under a group of old oaks we come across more. chanterelles! Chanterelles everywhere! You will be hunted down. The crane blows the halali.

On to the bowls, now you can feast!

Thank' to the forest!

We finally find what we are looking for under a few old oak trees.

Photo gallery: Cooking mushroom soup in the Woodcuisine


Nature facts

Real chanterelle

The chanterelle has been a popular edible mushroom since ancient times and is traded in large quantities. The flesh is firm and firm, tough and fibrous in the stem, whitish to pale yellow in color, tastes mild to peppery (hence the word: pepper) and fresh specimens have a fine fruity smell (like apricots).

Where to find chanterelles in Finland

Chanterelles grow mainly in southern and central parts of Finland. The northernmost deposits reach as far as Lapland. The chanterelle forms a plant community with the birch. The fungus can be found in a wide variety of landscapes and forest areas, but not in dense and dark forests. Favorable locations for chanterelles are e.g. B. shores of lakes and mixed and deciduous forests on islands. You should visit good chanterelle collecting points every year, as the fungus can appear in one location for several years. Collection time: The chanterelle season is long, in Finland from the end of June to the end of September, so it is possible to visit the same location several times over the course of a summer.


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