Mushroom country


With over 100,000 hectares of protected land, 16 natural parks and a biosphere reserve, every autumn the forests of the regions of Barcelona attract thousands of mushroom pickers. They come well prepared with knives and their unmistakable wicker baskets, and do not mind walking miles in search of the mushroom species they prize the most. They find many in the pine forests of Maresme and among the fallen forest leaves of Osona, but their favourite spot is further north. For them, paradise is in Berguedà – a land of placid plateaus and rugged mountains.

If it has rained quite a lot at the end of the summer, when the first frosts come, saffron milk-cap, bronze boletes and black chanterelle mushrooms are easy to collect. They grow everywhere and baskets fill quickly. If luck is not on your side or you are not knowledgeable enough about whether the mushrooms you have found are edible or not, no problem. In Berguedà, take a visit to the Mushroom Art Museum in Montmajor or any of the fairs or markets in the region, and you will find plenty to choose from!

In La Pobla de Lillet, for example, one of the most important mushroom festivals in the area is held in late September. With numerous activities for all ages, such as mushroom exhibitions, photograph contests and gastronomic tastings, the municipality pays fitting tribute to a food that plays a leading role in many autumn meals in Catalonia.

If you are looking for mushroom markets, the one in Cal Rosal, which opens every day from September to November, is particularly interesting. It is one of the oldest in Pirineus Barcelona, and you will be delighted with the wide variety of mushrooms and local foods on sale there.

And if, as well as shopping, you want to sample other delicacies of the region's forests, you have it easy thanks to the Berguedà mushroom cooking initiative, which enables you to sample traditional dishes and signature cuisine at reasonable prices. Saffron milk-caps sautéed with garlic and parsley, bronze boletes with beef and black pudding ravioli with pinkmottle woodwax cream are just three of the dishes that are usually served in restaurants participating in the food fair.

 


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