I read something Ayurveda-related, two years or so ago. It told me mushrooms were the wrong food to eat. Because they emerge from the rot. They are associated with death and decay.
But I adore them.
Of course the kinds of mushrooms I would love to eat are rovellons. My brother just shared a few pics from his lush fungi feast at home, back in Vilassar. The bright orange rovellons on display had been collected by my father in one of his secret early morning excursions into the woods. This is the passionate pursuit of so many pensioners in that area of the Maresme at this time of the year: getting up to the mountains around Vilassar and Cabrils, sigilosamente, making sure no one else knows where they have spotted their stash of setas – rovellons, pets de llop and the rest of it. Every year. Their clandestine pilgrimage into the wet soil, under the leaves, amongst delicious rot, wicker baskets in hand and lots of hush-hushing. They certainly won’t share their precious locations. Their knowledge of where the best, most fruitful forest decay lies, is probably their most valued possession.
Well, my Liverpool mushrooms are, naturally, from Tesco. Or Sainsbury’s. They are boring, they are mass produced. But I still like them. Doused in good quality olive oil I have brought all the way from somewhere nice in Catalunya; tossed with rosemary branches I grow in my terrace; sprinkled with garlic from I do not know where. Very satisfying, all in all.
So, I do not know what’s wrong with mushrooms. But I will keep eating them and thinking of secretive pensioners proudly tip-toeing into the humid mountains, first thing in the morning.