Alex ulmer’s entertaining excursion into the world of mushrooms

Alex ulmer's entertaining excursion into the world of mushrooms

"A war rages under the earth every second, a battle with chemical substances." The fungus expert and graduate geoecologist alex ulmer in mitwitz vividly and graphically described the course of fungal growth. His lecture was all about an edible growth that goes into the cooking pot for many people, but for some it could also be the last meal. "If someone doesn’t really know their way around, it’s a bit like playing russian roulette", he admitted.

Ulmer’s lecture on the fungal kingdom cleared up with prejudices fundamentally. He answered fundamental questions, which often divide opinions, with an indomitable logic. "Do you cut off a mushroom or do you have to twist it out??", the question came from the audience. Everyone was staring intently at the expert. "A mushroom is like an apple tree, only in reverse. Does the tree break if you pick an apple or separate it?? No. Why would a fungus break it? It is rooted under the ground, what peeps out at the top is only the fruit. But nevertheless I would rather turn it out, because important characteristics for the edibility are often found at the lower end of the stem. Please be sure to leave the hole clean afterwards." Also with the traditional ideas about the "mushroom season" he said: "fungi are present all year round, even in winter. Only dry phases they do not like. And regarding the quantity limit on collecting: "it is limited to a few species, but in principle, everyone should anyway cover only their own needs. Emperor’s mushroom and truffle cannot be harvested at all. In addition, one should also consider the pollution of the fungi. And do not try blob the tour with the silver spoon, which you put in the pan during preparation to determine whether the mushroom is poisonous. This is complete nonsense. Unless you have deadly searches." In general it makes much more sense to know the poisonous species anyway, because there are much less of them than the edible ones.

Because pictures are more likely to create a learning effect in people’s minds than mere words, he used this effect several times over. For example, he told of the fly agaric, also known as the "mother-in-law mushroom" referred to. "But there are other species that are suitable", he added with a wink. He strongly advised against using mushrooms as hallucinogens. "Unless you have an urgent need for dialysis."

Planed sweat smell

And because the mycologist wanted to involve not only the eyes, but also the senses of smell and taste, he chose the truffle as an example and said: "that’s the typical smell of swiss fungus that you get when you eat pasta. Taste is not a culinary complement."

Alex ulmer, however, not only deterred, on the contrary. He tried to expand the world of mushrooms, because there are several hundred species of edible mushrooms. "But stay calm when collecting with those you know. Chestnuts, boletus and other mushrooms are extremely tasty and are available in large quantities." However, he also advised interested parties to look into other types of business.

What he did answer was the question about the location. "There are mushrooms that grow only on – or near – certain trees. I do not need to look for it elsewhere. As an example he mentioned the birch mushroom. He also advised not to seek the coarse mushrooms. "What’s the use of harvesting a boletus that has a coarse diameter and is already so full of maggots that it can walk on its own?"

The most common ones are the real and the false chanterelle, the gall cane and the boletus, the mushroom and the green tuberous mushroom, the morel and the lorch, the sponge and the poisonous galerina, the pearl mushroom and the panther mushroom, the smoky-leaved and the green-leaved sulphur-head and the curly cucumber with the coral.

He ended the entertaining evening with curiosities such as the marzipan falbling, which "smells wonderful, but its roots always end up in a mouse toilet".

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