Mushroom Foraging on Monte Argentario
By August, mushroom gatherers have already got a plan to and are a fungi in the chestnut and oak woods looking for late-summer fungi, which will then be used in soup, tossed in pappardelle or layered on top of crostini.
Monte Argentario is full of rich , serene and unique Mediterranean forest and scrub. Not only do the wild boars love it, but the mushrooms do too - in the right season, they’re prolific, especially when the right amount of rain follows the summer. Once an ancient island, now joined to the mainland by the sandy, pine-covered dunes of Feniglia and Giannella, Argentario has a unique mixture of plant life, including corbezzolo (irish strawberry trees) and erica (heather) which make the mushrooms more delicious and aromatic than those found on the mainland.
Good mushrooms should smell wonderful: earthy, nutty, but more specifically like almonds or amaretti, sometimes like flour, uncooked bread dough, butter, aniseed or even honey. In Tuscany if you are not a resident in the area where you are foraging, you need to obtain a permit. You will also need clothes that cover arms, and legs, gloves and a basket (not a plastic bag - the spores of the mushroom should be able to fall through the cracks in the basket, to help the continuity of mushrooms growing in the area).
Mushrooms found in the region:-
- Caesar’s Mushrooms
- Chanterelle /mushrooms
- Monk’s head
- Parasol Mushroom
- Weeping Bolete