Friday 5 February 2010

Mushroom Mania.

These giant carved wooden mushrooms stand on a roundabout, about 5 Kms from my house. The biggest one stands almost 8ft high. They represent the area's obsession with mushrooms; and in particular Bolitus Edulis, the Cepe, or Penny bun.

People are killed for mushrooms. Fights occur on a regular basis. My own village is renouned for both the quality and quantity of its (usually) annual crop. In our nearest small town there is a market devoted solely to the sale of these beauties. Our local gastronomy is dependent on their exquisite flavour.

During the growing season, I dream of mushrooms. I become excited at the very thought of heading for the woods first thing in the morning. I am prepared to brave almost any weather to track them down. Mushrooming becomes all-important and all-enveloping. We watch the weather like hawks, we measure rainfall and temperatures, we study every little movement in the woods, we look for cars parked by the side of the road. Every small sign is meticulously observed.

We haven't had a proper crop of Cepes for three years, but I've recently been told by a neighbour that a really cold winter (such as we've been having) is the sign of an exceptional harvest to come. I believe him... I believe him... I have total faith.
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1 comment:

  1. I wanted to post a second picture with this one, but something went wrong. I recently came across a small roadside gravestone (no doubt the result of an accident). The stone simply contained the man's name and an engraved picture of two Cepes. Even in death....


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