Mushroom Hunting: A Czech Hobby

Mushroom hunting is a favorite past-time for Czechs.   It is said that 7 in 10 Czechs go for some mushroom hunting between the months of July and November.

In keeping up with tradition, we had the opportunity of introducing Jakub to his first mushroom hunting activity this past weekend.

Dressed in our mushroom picking garb, we headed out to the woods close to Konarovice, a village close to Kolin.

Our first mushroom find got Jakub very excited.  Although he didn’t fully understand what a mushroom is, he was excited with the thought of looking for something and eventually finding it.

It was hard to explain that not all mushrooms are edible.

It became even more challenging when he started to pick out moss that was shaped like a mushroom.

I, on the other hand, had a hard time distinguishing the edible from the inedible ones since I am always more attracted to the colorful ones.  Most of the time, they are either poisonous or inedible.

But then they served a different purpose. If I can’t feast on them with my mouth, I might as well feast on them with my camera.

This year, we were not very lucky, because we didn’t follow one basic rule:  wake up with the sun.

When we got to the woods, a lot of people were already there before us.

But the whole activity in itself proved to be very worthwhile.  I found more enjoyment in communing with nature rather than picking the mushrooms.  I also enjoyed seeing my son seriously in the prowl for those precious goodies.

After finally admitting that there were no more to be found,  we found a precious spot were we rested and basked ourselves in the warm sun.

Our son on the otherhand, got busy pretending that he was drilling something in the trees.

It was such an awesome experience — one that we will definitely do over and over again.

Have you ever picked mushrooms in the woods?

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31 thoughts on “Mushroom Hunting: A Czech Hobby

  1. Mylene October 4, 2012 / 11:26 pm

    That is such a cool thing to do! I like to eat mushrooms but I wouldn’t be able to tell poisonous from not.

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    • Grace October 5, 2012 / 8:46 am

      When you come visit us, come in fall so I can take you mushroom picking. 🙂

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  2. Kristen October 4, 2012 / 11:59 pm

    We had Czech guests stay with us once, and they picked mushrooms from our woods (in the US) and cooked them in butter for us. It was so delicious! I wish I knew which ones were safe – until then I had no idea that there were edible mushrooms growing next to our house.

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    • Grace October 5, 2012 / 8:44 am

      Nice! I’m sure there are a lot of edible mushrooms in some parts of the US. My husband bought me a book about mushrooms so I can distinguish the edible from the inedible ones, but I am still not very good at it. I guess it will take a couple more trips to be good at it. 🙂

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  3. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer October 5, 2012 / 2:15 am

    I’ve heard too many scary stories about supposed experts mistaking poison mushrooms for edible ones. So no, I have never gone mushroom picking.

    Have you ever gone raspberry picking? No poison to worry about, just terribly sharp thorns.

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    • Grace October 5, 2012 / 8:41 am

      No, I haven’t. I would like to do that too. 🙂

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  4. 68ghia October 5, 2012 / 9:05 am

    Looks like good fun was had by all 😉
    I don’t think I’ll take that chance – have no idea if the mushrooms growing in my garden are poisonous or not!

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  5. jgmycroft October 5, 2012 / 11:56 am

    That’s insane! Insane in a good way. I’d be so paranoid about picking up mushrooms… but it’ll definitely be a good skill/asset to have!

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  6. joleneybean October 5, 2012 / 12:19 pm

    How fun! I hear that mushroom hunting is also very popular in Poland. A lot of my traditional Polish recipes have mushrooms in them. I would love to try that someday, but I would have no idea which ones to pick – and I’ve never seen such BIG mushrooms over here in our area of NY.

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    • Grace October 10, 2012 / 12:08 pm

      Hi Jolene! It takes practice..and a good book.

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  7. Paprika Furstenburg October 5, 2012 / 3:25 pm

    I’ve never stalked mushrooms in the woods before. I find a lot of them in my garden. Some are quite scary looking. What an interesting tradition. Thanks for sharing the story.

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  8. adinparadise October 5, 2012 / 3:45 pm

    I absolutely love mushrooms, but would never dare to eat any that I’d picked myself. 🙂

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  9. Gunta October 6, 2012 / 2:21 am

    I remember going mushroom hunting as a kid. Too bad I didn’t learn how to recognize the good ones. My friend in Massachusetts picks mushrooms in her yard all the time. She says this was a very bad year.

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    • Grace October 7, 2012 / 12:46 pm

      I think mushroom-picking may be a European tradition, that’s why you remember it from your childhood. 🙂

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  10. zezil October 6, 2012 / 12:37 pm

    Wowwwwwww! I almost felt I was there! Like an awesome hobbit looking for mushrooms! Nice read! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    • Grace October 7, 2012 / 12:45 pm

      I’m happy to share this experience. 🙂 As a child growing up in the highlands in the Southern part of the Philippines, I never had the opportunity to pick mushrooms although there were plenty. I think I remember somebody telling me they were dog pee. 🙂 Go figure!

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  11. czechwine October 10, 2012 / 4:03 pm

    I bet they would be delicious with a nice crisp Czech wine!

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    • Grace October 11, 2012 / 9:57 am

      Oh, they were. 🙂

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  12. Teacher Tina October 14, 2012 / 4:13 am

    Mushroom hunting sounds more challenging than going up and down rows of berries! Sounds like fun.

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  13. Esenga' s Voice October 14, 2012 / 7:59 pm

    It’ s also a Latvian hobby – so much fun searching for the edible ones and simply spending time out in the forest. As well as ending up with a very delicious result back home. 🙂

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    • Grace October 14, 2012 / 9:08 pm

      Yup, I’m loving it. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. 🙂

      Like

  14. travelgardeneat October 22, 2012 / 3:30 pm

    This post reminded me of morel mushroom hunting in northern Wisconsin with my Czech grandparents (both of whom were born in the U.S. although their parents had come to the U.S. while in their teens). ~ Kat

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  15. Yoolie October 23, 2012 / 7:24 pm

    Hey Grace, this looks like fun! And your son is soo adorable!! Great shots!! 🙂

    Like

  16. Cindy Green November 3, 2012 / 2:57 pm

    Your photos are amazing – makes me want to be there picking too!

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  17. secretgardenhome November 16, 2012 / 2:41 pm

    Hi Grace,

    Thank you for following my blog. Regarding picking mushrooms, I’ve done it many times when I was a child. Every late August/September, my parents venture to the woods to pick as many wild mushrooms as possible. I still don’t have a clue how they could recognise the good ones. My eyes were always drawn to the red ones haha

    I suppose mushroom picking is still popular in Eastern Europe, not so much in the UK, unfortunately.

    I love the idea for your blog!

    Best wishes

    Monika

    Like

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