Practicing Creativity

Fall Mushrooms in France

Fall is synonymous with fresh mushrooms in France and even though it feels like winter outside, Christmas is next week, and festive savory truffles are making their holiday appearance, we are technically still in Fall, and you can still find quite a few different varieties of fresh mushrooms in the markets. The selection is a little less good than it was a few weeks ago, and they're not exclusively French, but they're tasty all the same. These were the seasonal ones on offer in my supermarket last week. My husband chose a little of each and made a very tasty omelette.

From left to right: 1st row – Pleurote du Panicaut (standing), Pleurote du Panicaut (on their sides), Pied de Mouton; 2nd row –Trompette de la Mort, Chanterelle Jaune, Shitake

I've shown the pleurote by itself  so you can see what it looks like standing up. Is this not the most perfect, fairytale mushroom? The kind you'd expect tiny gnomes to have moved into? And about those names...pied de mouton translates to 'sheep's foot'. Why I don't know. It doesn't particularly look like a sheep's foot.  Even worse, trompette de la mort literally means 'trumpet of death'. Doesn't really make you want to eat it, does it? Despite the names, they're both very tasty.

If you're picking mushrooms in the wild (la cueillette des champignons, a popular activity) you need to be very sure what you're doing. There are over 3000 types of mushrooms in France and very few are edible. Some are poisonous and can be deadly if eaten. If you have a doubt, you can take your pickings to a pharmacist who will tell you which are edible and which aren't.

Or, you can do like me and erase all doubt...by buying them in the market.

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