there are around 1900 known species of mushrooms. They
divided into many subgroups and only few of them are used as food. Be
careful and ask before you eat picked mushrooms.
should be picked in dry weather shortly after rainfall. Some of the
most common mushroom species grow near certain types of trees, after
which they are named, such as the Larch Bolete (Lat. Suillus
grevillei), easily recognizable due to its yellowish color.
It’s best to pick the Larch Bolete while it is small, firm
button-like. Then the pores don’t have to be removed. The
Bolete (Lat. Leccinum scabrum) grows near birch trees, as the name
indicates. It has a light-brown hat and a white stem.
Another common mushroom species that grows in Iceland is the Slippery
Jack (Lat. Suillus luteus), which can be found near pine trees and
looks very similar to the Birch Bolete. It is slimier, though, as the
name indicates. It is recommended that the slime coating is removed
There are also some toxic mushroom species in Iceland, for example
Psilocybin Mushrooms, or Magic Mushrooms, and the more easily
recognizable Fly Amanita (Lat. Amanita muscaria), which the Vikings
called berserkur and ate for its hallucinogenic effects.
So, if you’re uncertain about a mushroom you’ve
it’s best to leave it alone. If you’re new to
picking, it’s a good idea to rent a book on Icelandic
in the library and carry it with you.
While picking mushrooms, grab the lower end of the stem and twist it
lightly so that the stem doesn’t break off. Cut the mushroom
two to see whether snails, worms or insects have gotten to it before
If the meat looks clean, brush the dirt off and place the mushroom in a
basket. Plastic containers are not suitable for mushroom picking as the
mushrooms require air to dry.
However, you should carry a plastic container with you to combine a
mushroom picking tour with a berry picking tour should the opportunity
arise. Blueberries and crowberries grow all around the capital region.
Not in too large or dense forests, though.
Back at home, the mushrooms should be cleaned and prepared the same day
that they’re picked. The pores are generally removed from the
Birch Bolete and the Slippery Jack, and if the pores are large and
moist, also from the Larch Bolete.
If the cover of the cap is very slimy, it should be removed too. Only
brush or scrape the dirt off the cap and stem—mushrooms
not be washed in water.