Catalonia’s Love for Mushrooms

Summer is over, it’s not that hot anymore and the cool breeze coming with those grey clouds gives us all a well-deserved rest from higher temperatures. Days on the beach are part of the past and everyone is back to their normal routines with a bag full of motivation for those new days that are ahead of us. It’s been raining quite a lot recently but it feels incredibly refreshing. It’s time for mushrooms, it’s autumn.

A tradition that’s intrinsic to the Catalan culture.

Let’s admit it, it’s a magical time of the year everywhere, but in Catalonia, we also have the mushroom factor. Every year, from September to December, hundreds of people head to the forests of Catalonia at least twice a month. Catalans go out foraging for wild mushrooms, as these are the star of many traditional dishes.

This tradition goes back many hundreds of years and it is a very important aspect of the Catalan culture. Today, we can find television programmes and phone apps to help hunting. The Catalan government website also offers guides regarding the weather, season, and best areas to go. Such is the devotion to this activity that access to forests has become limited and visitors have to pay a fee in order to protect the environment, which is being affected by the amount of people taking part in this popular outdoor activity.

With mushrooms being intrinsic to the Catalan culture, it isn’t surprising that many popular sayings include the word bolet, Catalan for mushroom.

Food markets of Catalonia.

Image credit: Toby & Tamar Blog

Finding the best mushroom dishes in the city.

If you want to get the full autumn Catalan experience but can’t make it to the forests it’s not the end of the world. You can always buy your mushrooms from the amazing food market right in the centre of Barcelona, La Boquería. There you can find Bolets Petràs, the finest mushroom shop in the city. You can also visit one of the many restaurants that serve traditional mushroom dishes all around this fascinating city.

Back in Manchester, we like to keep our dishes seasonal at Tast. Without a doubt, the presence of mushrooms is even more prominent now that we’re about to launch our new autumn menu.