Boletus Edulis, Agaricus Bisporus

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Fiction

When I was really little, I loved the mushrooms my mum used to cook in that big massive pan she’d inherited from grandma. The silver metal one with the mandala scratches, the one she used to take with us every Saturday morning, on our beloved yet motion sick-infused weekend trips to the countryside. 

Eat an olive, love, it will help with the car sickness.

I still love mushrooms to this day. They have become the humble, gourmet extravaganza of my eating days and nights. 

Anyway, this is now, and that was then.  

When I was really little, mushrooms of all varieties (not only the ubiquitous Agaricus Bisporus) would abound in any meal my mum cooked for the family. She’d simmer and pan-fry and sauté them. Add them to meaty roasts and stews. Lovingly and tastily prepare them to such a wildly creative extent, that it almost bordered an obsession. (Even when they only came as a close second to her predominantly mediterranean and garlic heavy entrées). 

Boletus Edulis, Cantharellus Cibarius, Cantharellus Tubaeformis, Lactaris Sanguifluus, Omphalotus Olearis. 

Such exotically musical names. 

Funnily enough, my mum has always been disgusted by their succulent sliminess, which her delicate stomach finds quite hard to digest (similar to what happens to her with pasta; a bad case of fungi intolerance one may say).

The thing is, ever since I’ve been little, I’ve gotten a high out of eating mushrooms. I was a fungi connoisseur even before I knew what that meant; and without ever really becoming a hunter, as I would never learn how to properly forage for them. Yet the wilderness of their sometimes intricate, delicate forms always made me happy, always made me smile. And whomever has the pleasure or displeasure of knowing me in my present life as an unstable adult, knows that I still adore them. 

Yet I cannot simply tell my mum about this food fétiche of mine, lest she keep feeding my obsession. 

And so to present days we arrive. 

Here comes S. and her entrepreneur beau N. One may describe N. as someone who does not get deeply madly in love with his mirror reflection, yet he keeps trimming his beard, and some Novembers, even his moustache. One needs to keep up with the trends somehow.  Matt lives in the countryside, surrounded by wild greenery and not so wild potted-and-supermarket-bought plants. 

He is a good cook, according to S. And he plants (and sells) some smelly stuff too. In addition, he’s currently redecorating the apartments he inherited from his late and slightly demented aunt, which he will rent out during the summer season to northern travellers in desperate need of sunlight. 

He has plenty of time to do his things. And his main thing these days has become picking up mushrooms, greedily foraging them, ungraciously stealing from Mother Nature. 

Boletus Edulis, Cantharellus Cibarius, Cantharellus Tubaeformis, Lactaris Sanguifluus, Omphalotus Olearis. 

Such exotically musical names. 

S. goes crazy taking pictures of them for social media. They look ever so wild. A Gingham filter will bring them back to vintage life. Post. Live. Like. Like. Like.   

And a thought occurs to her. Dora really adores mushrooms, didn’t she say so one day?  So she puts a small parcel aside, a nice and thoughtful gift for whenever she sees Dora next time.

Always volunteering to drive the extra mile, N. decides to cook them. A nice concoction of bell peppers, potatoes and wild garlic. But greedily, ever so greedily, only five percent of the dish will end up being mushrooms, of which almost three quarters of them, Agaricus Bisporus. At least he has sautéed the wild garlic.  

I nibble on the feast while cooking my own wild variety pack back home.

We’ll let the mushrooms simmer. And time – and wine – will tell.

Did I ever tell you I love my mushrooms? 

The Author

Woman. Floaty. Attached. Dettached. Sudden. Note-scribbler. Citizen of the world. Travelling to the moon and back.

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