September 5, 2010

Mushroom Hunting at Moorooduc

A couple of months ago on June 20th, with gumboots, scarves and warm jackets in tow, we climbed into our car for a drive towards Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula. After pre-booking 2 months in advance, the day had finally arrived for our Mushroom Tour at Moorooduc Estate. It was to be led by Cameron Russell, an enthused mushroom maestro, who would take us on an informative traipse through the laneways and valleys near Moorooduc Estate for some serious mushroom foraging. I was very excited, to say the least!

The day was wet and cold - perfect conditions for sprouting mushrooms!

Couldn't resist pulling over to get a shot of these wobbly llamas

Gorgeous view across the winery

Enjoying a cup of Chamomile and English Breakfast Tea while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive

Everybody in our tour group wore this sticker as an allegiance to our fellow fungi
We all drove 5min from Moorooduc Estate, with Cameron leading the way, to an area where mushrooms would be growing

A Giant Suillus Luteus, commonly known as a Slippery Jack Mushroom, by the roadside

Cameron explaining the different techniques used to distinguish edible mushrooms from the poisonous ones. It was alarming to discover that for every edible mushroom in the world, there is at least one poisonous one that looks almost identical to it. He was then quick to point out that one should therefore never pick a fungus to eat unless 100 per cent sure of what it is.

An alluring, poisonous Amanita Muscaria, commonly known as a Fly Agaric

Psychedelic Psilocybe Cyanofriscosa, commonly known as Magic Mushrooms

We had to brush away masses of pine needles, fallen from surrounding pine trees, to unearth the treasures of mushrooms underneath

An almost camouflaging Trametes Versicolor, commonly used in Chinese medicine

Another Amanita, which has hallucinogenic properties

Agaricus Augustus, commonly known as The Prince, is great pan-fried with garlic and olive oil. There is a very common, similar-looking mushroom to The Prince that is poisonous. These inedible fungi will turn bright yellow and emit a toxic chemical odour when cut or bruised.

Holding a delicately hued Lepista Nuda, commonly known as a Wood Blewit. It is delicious pan-fried with butter and parsley. Apparently they are quite hard to find at the moment, so we were lucky to stumble upon a few.

More Slippery Jacks (too mature to be edible) and a Magic Mushroom

Walking across the road to hunt for more mushrooms in the forest on the other side

A fatal concoction of an intense black cap and stem with milky white gills

Tiny orange coral fungi

Yellow ones!

Lactarius Deliciosus, commonly known as Saffron Milk Caps or Pine Mushrooms, have unique hollow stems. They are delicious and have a great bite to them when cooked.

The only edible Slippery Jack mushroom found, with tiny, circular pores in the light yellow, spongey hymenium
Our day's bounty - a Slippery Jack, milk chocolatey The Prince mushrooms, vibrant Pine Mushrooms and lilac Wood Blewits

 Returning to our cars

Back to the winery to enjoy our mushrooms with a glass of Moorooduc Blanc (a blend of chardonnay and pinot gris) and Pinot Noir :-)

Creamy Mushroom Cappucino; Wild Mushroom on Sourdough Bruschetta

Note to self: Buy outdoor woodfire oven

Watching our pizza being made



Time to eat! Delicious Wild Mushrooms with Truffle Oil

Dates for tours with Cameron Russell next year are to be announced in February 2011, so get in quick if you want to score yourself a place. Visit the website for more details. Happy 'Shrooming! :-)

1 comment:

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

I missed out on mushrooms this year, will definitely be making a trip next year though!