Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mushrooming at Moorooduc

In line with our newly discovered zeal for foraging, Jonathan, David and I went on a mushrooming tour with Cameron Russell of Mushroom Tours at Moorooduc on the Mornington Peninsula last Sunday. Mushrooms are one of those things that you don't want to get wrong - an apple is an apple and chances are the worst thing that can happen if you eat one picked by the roadside is finding a worm. However pick the wrong mushroom and you could die A Slow and Painful Death. So to feed my passion for exotic fungi as well as for life, I decided we needed some expert guidance.

Meeting at 10am at the gorgeous Moorooduc Estate, after a brief chat from Cameron and a welcome coffee and homemade bikkie, about 40 of us headed off in a convoy ending up after 10 minutes down a dirt backroad (I could tell you where it was, but then I'd have to kill you - mushroomers are very protective of their patch!) Getting out of the car I looked around and thought Mushrooms, what mushrooms?" but as became clear as Cameron walked us down the roadside reserve, mushrooms are everywhere.
Shame of it is that most of them are poisonous, and Cameron's informative and knowledgable tour was really more about what not to eat than what you could eat. Having said that I am now fairly confident I could safely pick and eat a Saffron Milk Cap which grows under Radiata pines. I also discovered I have at least two customers who are keen mushroomers and the lovely Martine has offered to go mushrooming with me next year.

It was a bit late in the season so there weren't heaps of edibles around, but enough to show us what to look for. After a couple of hours wandering through the undergrowth, we headed back to Moorooduc Estate where our hosts plied us with mushroom soup and mushroom bruschetta fresh out of the amazing wood-burning oven which was getting ready to dispense pizzas to the wine-tasting crowds. I can recommend tkaing a tour with Cameron - they've finished for 2010 but will be on again in Autumn 2011

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