Summer in Sweden – boat life, mushrooming and Mushroom Consultants!

Oh it’s so lovely to be back in beautiful West Sweden for our summer hols/mushroom picking trip. When we’re not in the forests we love to spend time by the coast, and this area is a paradise for anyone who loves the outdoors, whether wet or dry. It was great to get a mushroom walk in with family over from the UK, and explore the archipelago.

A highlight this year has been our trip up to Lövånger in Västerbotten on Sweden’s north east coast, to go to the Mushroom Consultant’s AGM (Svampkonsulenternas Riksträff), organised by the local branch Svampkonsulent Norr. It took us two days to drive up and was a round trip of 2,360 km. Sweden is such an incredibly long, narrow country!

It was great to meet up with such a lovely bunch of mushroom experts, and, amongst other activities, we attended a lecture on poisonous mushrooms, went on a foray with local mushroom consultant Anna-Lena Lindqvist, and helped set up a wild mushroom display that members of the public could also come to.

A speciality of northern Sweden is the matsutake mushroom, tricholoma matsutake, which until very recently was not picked at all by Swedes. Discovered to be growing in the region by the Japanese, who prize it very highly, it is now picked mostly to be shipped over there. Many Swedes still find the strong, almost perfumey taste too much. We were delighted to find our very own specimens which we are looking forward to trying in a recipe.

On the final day we were part of a group interviewed by SVT, Sweden’s national television broadcaster, for an item on the local evening news about mushroom consultants, whose mandate is to encourage the public to go foraging safely, and get some exercise in the process, as well as helping to identify wild mushrooms. What a great resource they are for the Swedish nation!