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Wild Mushroom hunting in Navarra

In Navarra Picking Wild Mushrooms is a Passion

wild mushroom hunting navarra

In Navarra Picking Wild Mushrooms is a Passion

The picking of wild forest mushrooms is a passion and has a large number of followers in Spain. This is especially true in the north, in Navarra and the Basque Country. The boletus edulis and boletus aereus mushrooms, colloquially called “hongos” in Spanish, are undoubtedly the most valued for their gastronomic qualities.

Their harvesting season is summer and autumn, especially when the woods are very wet, and we can find them under beech, pine, rockrose, chestnut and oak groves. It takes a great expertise to recognize the different species, and every year there are hospitalizations from people eating the wrong kind. It is never recommended to pick wild mushrooms without someone who knows what they are doing. This knowledge is passed down through family and now through many clubs.

Competition is Fierce

However, picking wild mushrooms can be a cut-throat hobby here in Navarra. People jealously guard their favorite spots and some people won’t even reveal the location of their secret treasure troves to their own family members. It is a well-know fact that in season, some people will go as far as to get up at the crack of dawn and go hide in the forest. Then they wait. Finally when a specific person passes them, they sneakily tip-toe behind them and find out where their favorite mushroom spot is.

wild mushroom hunting in navarra

Competition for the best picking spots is fierce in Navarra

The Best Way to Eat Wild Mushrooms Navarra Style

The most common ways to consume wild mushrooms in Navarra are grilled, as confit (preserved in jars) or scrambled with eggs. They are also sold frozen throughout the year. One of the easiest and yet most delicious ways to enjoy boletus edulis mushrooms is the Navarra way: as a refined egg scramble. This dish is considered to be a traditional delicacy here.

Here’s what you need:

  • 500 gm (18oz) of boletus edulis mushrooms fresh or bought frozen
  • 6 large free-range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced very finely
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • salt
mushroom hunting navarra spain

One of the simplest and most delicious ways to eat wild mushrooms is in an egg scramble.

Here’s how to do it:

Clean the mushrooms well and chop them to the desired size.

Heat the oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add the garlic, stirring it in.

In a bowl, add the eggs and milk and beat gently.

When the mushrooms have gained some color and are al dente, add the eggs, stirring vigorously for a couple of minutes, and turn off the heat.

Add the parsley, and the salt and continue stirring a couple of minutes more, with the stove off. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Written by Dierdre Carney

Photos by Stephanie Mutsaerts

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