Mushroom pickers can be a little conflicted about the benefits of a long, hot, dry summer. We like to laze in the sun or head for the beach like anyone else but the fact is that without a healthy dose of rain now and again the wild mushrooms just don’t start fruiting. Where we are on the West Coast of Sweden there’s barely anything to pick and that’s because the rain that has fallen has just not been sufficient. Luckily there was a real downpour a little further north and inland, so Bengt made a very scientific study of the Swedish meteorological office’s (SMHI) data and reports from other mushroom pickers to see where might be the best place to head to and we headed off on a wild mushroom road trip.
Luckily for us the 400 km we drove there and back paid off. A little forest road in the vicinity of Lake Vättern, Sweden’s second largest lake was our first proper stop and the first thing we spotted under the fir trees was a beautiful group of absolutely perfect porcini, or Karl Johan as they are called here.Altogether we picked around 15 – 20 porcini at that first spot but the next stop was even more successful. We picked around 3 kilos and they were some of the largest and most perfect porcini we have ever seen. Naturally we took photos of ourselves, like proud fishermen, with our prize finds!
After that we wearily headed home and it took us an hour after we got back to slice the mushrooms and get them on the drying racks. A long day, but worth it to finally be able to get our hands on one of the kings of the forest, the delicious porcini.