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'Explosion' of mushrooms in Swedish forests after wet weather

TT/The Local
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'Explosion' of mushrooms in Swedish forests after wet weather
Freshly picked chanterelles. Photo: Fotograferna Holmberg/TT

Rainy weather has caused its fair share of problems in Sweden over the past few weeks, but it's not all bad news: August looks like it will be a great month for mushroom hunting.

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"It looks like there's an explosion at the moment, there's loads and loads of mushrooms in some areas," said mycologist Michael Krikorev from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

In Värmland, for example, more mushrooms than usual have been reported, as well as in Västergötland and Småland, he said.

"It's unusually good in western Sweden, most of all, and a bit inland. But a few weeks a go a lot of mushrooms were foraged in Hälsingland, too. And Dalarna's had its fair share."

Would-be mushroom hunters in Stockholm and Uppsala can also enjoy a better-than-usual harvest this year.

"There are lots of ceps and almost certainly chanterelles, too," Krikorev said.

"Most mushrooms can handle being wet for a while," he added. "Of course, there's a limit, but that only really applies if there have been floods for a long period."

His tip for people looking for the right area is to look at weather service SMHI's precipitation maps.

"Look in places where it rained heavily a few weeks ago," he said. "People also give each other tips in the Svamp-klapp group on the best time to go foraging."

For those who aren't used to foraging mushrooms, he advises against picking everything you find and then trying to discern the species.

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"The best thing to do is learn how to identify one or two species at a time, and just look for them in the environment they usually grow in. There are also a lot of mushroom societies that organise excursions, as well as Svampkonsulenternas Riksförbund [ed. the National Union of Mushroom Consultants]."

Tips and tricks for successful mushroom foraging

Only pick mushrooms you're sure you recognise as edible.

Only pick mushrooms which feel fresh and firm.

Don't put mushrooms in a plastic bag, as a closed environment like this promotes the growth of bacteria.

Cut away anything which has signs of insect or worm damage.

Clean mushrooms well and cook them the same day.

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