Mushrooms are ratbags; no meat and no fish. No plant, vegetable or fruit. Mushrooms are different. They belong biologically to the Fungi, in other words the group of fungus and molds. A group of organism that has no chlorophyll. With over 100.000 known species. Not able to produce their own necessary nutrients. Live from organic material they get out of other living or dead organism.
A mushroom is the visual part of an extensive underground network of wires; the mycelium. In fact, a mushroom is the reproductive organ of this mycelium; the fruiting body.
On, or in, this fruiting body the spores are shaped. Male and female. When the spores find a suitable spot (in most cases by the wind), they germinate and form a new fungal thread. When a male and female thread have a ‘date’, a new mycelium arises below the surface. From this, new mushrooms will grow.
Wild mushrooms are stubborn creatures. Come and go whenever they feel like it. And that strongly influences on the continuity of supply. It depends (also within the high seasons) of a great number of factors that determine the size and moments of the supply. Drought, frost, temperature, the content of moisture in air and soil. Even climatically conditions the year before can be of substantial influence on the following harvest period.
But, once they popup, they can come massively. Mother Nature rules the seasons and the agenda. Decides where and when our little miracles may see the daylight.
Certain wild mushrooms you’ll find less in nature. Some species are even disappeared. Often people think that’s due to the way of picking them. That's nevertheless a small reason. It seems that the mayor treats are changes in the ecosystems. Drought, changes in temperature, acid rain and the disappearing of certain tree’s, fertilizer, etc.
Professional pickers leave a sufficient number of mushrooms in order to reproduce in the future. They ‘pick’ in general by using a sharp knife. Júst above the surface. In order to keep the mycelium in shape. Some species, like ceps, are carefully loosened out off the surface. When we should cut them with a knife, the retarded piece of the foot, will rot and also the mycelium below the surface.
Divergent soils, climates and periodical influences give divergent tastes per mushroom species. Or even the missing of specific flavorings. The first morels in February from Turkey have a different taste and structure than the morels from the Pyrene Mountains in March. A girolle from Canada (the ‘big brother’ from it's European family member) has less distinct and authentic ‘chanterelle’ taste and flavor.