Mushroom Season in Mallorca
It is said that picking mushrooms is nothing less than an art. Under the right weather conditions, the skill of the forager must be combined with recent rainfall, humidity, and favorable temperatures, which have provided a more than satisfactory start for enthusiasts.
Mushroom season is synonymous with autumn, with fire, sizzling oil in a pan, and a variety of mushrooms. In Mallorca, there are five types of mushrooms highly sought after by both chefs and mycology enthusiasts.
The Five Types of Mallorcan Mushrooms
Picornells, blaves, peus de rata, esclata-sangs... Mallorcan lands offer many types of mushrooms that are sold in stores and markets at varying prices or can be found in the wild.
Although it is strongly discouraged to consume or even touch mushrooms with unknown properties, here are the keys to distinguishing the most sought-after varieties of the season:
- 1.The "picornell," also known as the "picornell rojo," "picornell d’ullastre," or "cama seca," grows in areas known as "corrales de bruja" or "agres" under the holm oaks. It has a funnel-like shape, and both the stem and cap look very similar. The flesh of the "picornell," known as the chanterelle in Spanish, is firm and emits a sweet and intense aroma.
It comes in colors ranging from light brown, golden yellow, to orange, making it perfect for preparing stews, braises, and sauces, both for meat and fish. While it's best enjoyed fresh, it can also be found dehydrated or preserved.
- 2.The "blava" is the common name for the "Russula olivácea," which primarily grows in holm oak forests. In the Balearic Islands, several edible species exist, and they are distinguished by their relatively large cap diameter, which can reach up to 18 centimeters. The cap is usually grayish in color, although this can vary depending on the variety found, and it has a pronounced bell-like shape.
It also has well-separated and wide gills, which do not extend down the stem. These mushrooms are often used for sautéing or in scrambled eggs.
- 3.The "gírgola de estepa" is found in pine forests and low shrubs. It is a small mushroom, dark and almost black in color, and it must be handled with care not to confuse it with similar, inedible species.
The "gírgola de estepa" grows in large clusters and is highly appreciated in cooking because of its delicious flavor. The flesh is delicate, breaks easily, and has a unique taste and aroma, making it a common ingredient in dishes like "arròs brut," vegetable pies, and winter stews.
- 4.The "peu de rata" or "peu de cabrit," despite the somewhat unusual names for these small mushrooms, is one of the most delightful finds in Mallorca.
- They typically measure between 7 and 15 centimeters, but specimens of nearly 20 centimeters have been discovered. They have a light yellow to coral color with a white base. They are found in mountain forests, although fortunate foragers have come across them in the "Pla de Mallorca." They should only be consumed when thoroughly cooked and are often featured in warm salads, scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, or sautéed dishes.
- 5.The "esclata-sang" is one of the most prized mushrooms in Mallorca. It earns its name from the reddish liquid it exudes when plucked from the ground. It has a cap with a diameter of up to 15 centimeters, which is round, irregular, and with edges curling inward.
- It is in high demand in the kitchen, where it is used in all kinds of stews, omelets, and vegetable pies. However, one of the best ways to savor it is grilled with a bit of oil, garlic, and parsley.
If you enjoy Mallorcan cuisine, we hope you don't miss this post.