October 15, 2014

Mushroom Workshop/きのこ講習会

Every year, around this time of year, Niigata prefecture organizes mushroom workshops to help people gain correct knowledge of mushrooms and enjoy mushroom gathering in a safe way. I make it a point to participate in one of those workshops in every season. I really like the workshop held in Minami-Uounuma city because you don't have to pay a participation fee, you don't have to make an advance reservation, there is no limit on the number of participants, and above all, you are given mushroom soup for lunch for free!

This year, the workshop was held on October 15 at Cycling Terminal.
The reception started at 10:00.

First, the participants were allowed to go mushroom gathering in Mt. Hakkai.

I was amused to see rice (center of the photo) hung to dry in the sun.
It is said that sun-dried rice tastes much better than the machine-dried.

I looked at the trees in the area. Most of them were cedar, but there were some pine trees.
When it comes to mushroom gathering, a cedar forest is the least interesting because sugiedatake (Strobilurus ohshimae) is one of the few edible mushrooms that can be found there.
I found two puffballs, but later found they were too old to eat.
Just cut it in half by hand or with a knife; it's good to eat if it's white inside.

By the way, the organizer is really generous. At the reception, every participant was allowed to select one from three types of tea drink in PET bottles. I selected roasted green tea.
After nearly two hours of searching, I found nothing but sugiedatake and the puffballs I mentioned above.

When I returned to the building, I was surprised to see that every participant was given not only one bowl of mushroom soup but also two onigiri (rice balls)! Very generous indeed!
I didn't expect that the soup contained amandare (honey mushrooms), and the amount of amandare was really touching! I found more than ten pieces in my soup. I also found some nameko and eryngii.
The one onigiri contained grilled salmon, and
the other contained salted kombu. You can see one of the two slices of takuan (yellow pickled daikon) in the photo.
After I had the delicious lunch, I started to watch the variety of mushrooms on display.

To be continued.


Yangsze said...

Wow, that sounds like a fun day! Can't wait to hear more about the workshop :)

Hiroyuki said...

Yangsze: I'll work on the next post today. Last night, I was too tired to continue writing...