The Finnish forests offer surprising sources of wealth. Plan your next trip to Finland with mushrooms in mind. Thanks to the old Nordic tradition called Everymanís Right you are entitled to pick these delicacies as you please. The most persistent mushroom-pickers make fortunes.The False morel, Gyromitra esculenta, is the treat of the spring and summer. Although it is deadly poisonous when raw, with right treatment, it is the ingredient of delicious soups and stews. If you are not confident enough to prepare the false morel yourself, you might opt for the trip in a Finnish restaurant. You are guaranteed to love it.
Matsutake (Tricholoma matsutake) is the favourite of the Japanese. It has been part of the Japanese cuisine for thousand years, and this special mushroom is a cherished gift in the corporate world. It is even said to boost sexual drive. Matsutake is precious in many other ways, too. It grows under rare conditions under pine trees and it never grows in the same place twice. The value of imported Matsutake may be several hundred euros per kilo. Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) in Parkano unit is studying the occurrence of this mushroom that is generally considered to be worth the truffle. The hunting period of matsutake is from July to October.
Cep, King bolete, Pocino, and Penny Bun are the pet names of Boletus edulis, a commonly enjoyed mushroom that is considered superior both in flavour and in texture. This far and widely exported mushroom is dried and sold also in countries where it would not naturally occur. It grows in large clusters in Finnish forests dominated by pine and spruce.
BY ELISA HELAVUORI
ILLUSTRATION BY FLEUR WILSON