For many, mushroom picking is a relaxed hobby and at the same time provides special delicacies at the table. Nevertheless, it is important not to simply go on the search frivolously, but to inform yourself well in advance. The numerous types of mushrooms found in the European forests are not only suitable for enjoyment and some are even poisonous. For this reason, the right preparation is essential when looking for mushrooms. In the idyllic Saanenland in Switzerland, the Romantik Hotel Hornberg offers a true particularity: Guests can discover the surroundings together with the Swiss "Mushroom King" and go mushroom hunting.
Tips and tricks for mushroom hunting at home
When collecting mushrooms, hobby collectors should observe a few rules to guarantee a safe and enjoyable consumption.
First, it is important to clearly identify the mushroom. This usually requires five or more characteristics that a mushroom must have in order to be classified. In case of uncertainty, it is advisable not to consume the mushroom in case of doubt and instead to inform yourself at a local mushroom counselling centre.
The best time of day
Experienced mushroom pickers use the early morning hours to go mushroom hunting at sunrise. At this time, it is not only particularly idyllic in the forest, there are also still the best mushrooms.
The right mushroom picking
When collecting mushrooms, never cut off the mushroom on the stem. Instead, carefully turn the mushrooms out of the ground. Important characteristics of the mushroom can often be found in the tuber. For this reason, it is essential to twist it out as well.
Caution: Toxic mushrooms
Mushrooms are usually collected in a basket, which is why toxic mushrooms should be avoided. Fragments of the poisonous mushrooms could otherwise come on the edible ones. In addition, poisonous mushrooms should remain in nature as they are important food for animals and are of crucial importance for the ecosystem.
In order to keep the mushrooms fresh for as long as possible, they should be cleaned directly on site in the forest and pitted areas removed. Otherwise there is a risk that the mushrooms will no longer be edible until mushroom pickers arrive at home.
Classic mushroom baskets are best suited for mushroom seekers. Above all, plastic bags should not be used, as they accelerate the decomposition of protein in the absence of air.
Avoid young and old mushrooms
Young mushrooms are difficult to identify. Therefore, you should not collect them. Old mushrooms, on the other hand, no longer taste good and help to preserve the species by passing on their spores.
On mushroom hunt with Bert Inäbnit
The Romantik Hotel Hornberg offers guests a three-day exploratory tour led by Bert Inäbnit, the mushroom expert in Switzerland. On these days of nature, Bert Inäbnit passes on his expert knowledge to the guests and invites them to visit remote places and magnificent mushroom regions. Inäbnit himself is a pensioner and book author and has specialised in mushrooms in the region for many years. Guests of the Romantik Hotel Hornberg profit from the unique chance to search for mushrooms under the guidance of a real professional and at the same time experience the beautiful nature around the hotel. Inäbnit explains the mushroom varieties, how to pick them properly and the special features of the region, so that at the end of the day a large mushroom yield is guaranteed. After an eventful day the collected mushrooms can be directly prepared in the Hornberg kitchen and guests can watch the cooks and get tips for cooking mushrooms. Freshly collected, mushrooms are a real culinary delight.
Already in its third generation, the Romantik Hotel Hornberg in Saanenmöser near Gstaad welcomes its guests in the heart of nature. In the authentic chalet, holidaymakers find peace and relaxation and can explore the varied surroundings. Whether it's a golf, hiking or skiing holiday, the Romantik Hotel Hornberg is ideally located all year round. The hotel's own restaurant spoils its guests with regional specialities.