Wild mushrooms are a hot commodity in the hills of Italy and each year hundreds of Italians will die from mushroom poisoning. On October 20th, 2012 a family of four from Pisa, all died from the mushrooms that they had collected earlier that day.
The mushrooms that killed this innocent family are appropriately named the Death Cap; there is currently no cure for those that ingest this mighty mushroom.
This past Sunday we headed into the Sardinian mountains to hunt mushrooms, wild rabbit and sparrow. I’m just kidding about the latter two. What we did find was a lot wild mushrooms blooming between, beneath and on top of cow dung. It was a splendid afternoon I tell you – the winds were cool and the afternoon sun was warm and bright.
Wild mushrooms dotted the rugged mountain tops and I made double sure that there were no cows – in any radius.
My husband has been mushroom hunting for years; as a child he would spend his mornings collecting fresh mushrooms to later sell for a few lira down at the local supermarket. Two years ago – we made such a huge haul of mushrooms that I pickled them into 15 different jars!
We were a little late at getting out mushroom hunting this year and plenty of the mushrooms were already being attacked by small worms in the stalk. We left a ton of rotten mushrooms mountain top and made our way back home with about 5kg of Sardinian mushrooms.
I’d just turned on the T.V when the 5 o’clock news came on and we heard the story of this family in Pisa. My husband assured me that the mushrooms we picked are not poisonous. However, I did protest and he was grossed out by all the worms that we decided to ditch our loot of mushrooms.
(Click on any photo to view original size.)
Pick with care; know your shrooms!
Are you a mushroom hunter?
A Gathering of Mushrooms – via My Sardinian Life
Two die after eating death cap mushrooms – via ABC, Australia
Poisonous mushrooms – via Wanted in Rome
Mushroom hunt claims 18 lives – via The Independent