Frozen mushrooms – the risk of autumn mushroom hunting
The situation around the corona virus is not exactly developing the way we would like to see…Quarantine measures are strict so many of us head for the woods. However, at this time of year you will only meet die-hard mushroom pickers, but you may also see individuals who just want to get away from the house. This may actually cause other people to discover the magic of mushroom picking. Interesting enough, in some localities mushrooms have only started to grow now. For example, in Moravia brown mushrooms are appearing around now.
Why are frozen mushrooms dangerous?
Collecting mushrooms in the autumn carries a certain risk. That is mushrooms that have already been frozen and thawed.Yes, there is a risk of poisoning. When mushrooms freeze and thaw again, they actually undergo a decomposition processes. This process degrades the quality of the mushroom and you may get poisoned if you eat them. Think of it as eating rotten meat. Of course, you would notice the decline in quality immediately, plus rotten meat stinks.
Photo: Radek Štěpán
This mainly applies to the most popular boletuses
Many beginners do not collect mushrooms with scales or those that do not have that classical bolete look, and these are currently plenty at this time of year. For example, you may see many Clitocybe nebularis, commonly known as clouded agaric, which creates giant magic wheels. But there are also plenty of wood blewits or milk-caps and other types of mushrooms.Mushrooms with scales show signs of freezing early so, you can tell that the decomposition process has already began.
Photo: Radek Štěpán
Freezing mushrooms in your freezer is ok
You are probably thinking that people freeze mushrooms all the time. Freezing is one of the basic processes used to preserve mushrooms and it is not harmful at all because you use fresh mushrooms and you freeze them deeply. When thawed, you consume them immediately so there is not enough time for the decomposition to start. The good news is that the first frosts did not hit yet in many locations. So feel free to go mushroom picking but hurry up. So far, frosts only hit higher areas.
Preview photo: Radek Štěpán
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.