A Mushroom By Any Other Name…

I just realized my blog now has 100 posts. Woo! Woo! It’s taken me awhile, but I think I’m getting into the groove with it.

The weather in September and August here was pretty lousy, so we’re hoping for what our German friends keep telling us may happen: a “Golden October.” So far, October has been a massive improvement. As in, no need for long underwear and a wool coat and umbrella for the last few days.

Ever since we got here, even though we knew it was a cool, rainy, climate, we’ve been surprised at just how cool and rainy it is, especially in months we used to think of as summer months. The locals tell us again and again that it’s “not usually this bad,” that this year has been record-breakingly cool.

We’ve been here six months as of today! I can’t believe it. After six months, it’s a little bit easier to think of the cool rainy-ness as being normal and to just get over it.  A little bit. Definitely we’ve adopted the local custom of (if possible) dropping everything and running outside when the sun shines. Another useful local habit is to dress for the weather and go outside anyway, which is also a good idea. Otherwise you would never get out.

With all the additional rain, it looks to be the year of the bumper mushroom crop. Mushrooms, like all seasonal produce, are taken very seriously here. There are several kinds, and restaurants are sporting full-page seasonal mushroom menus.

The photo at the top of the post is of mushrooms I found in the forest (don’t worry, I won’t eat any mushrooms unless they’re coming from a vendor). They look like little aliens to me. I’m sure there are plenty of mushroom varieties in North Carolina, but I definitely notice them here more, probably because I’m outside more.

The mushrooms above are called pfifferlinge. Aren’t they beautiful? I bought some and cooked them up, not really knowing what I was doing. They tasted fine, but I think I would rather have them served to me properly at a restaurant. I looked up the English translation for this particular mushroom: chanterelle. Funny that the “English” is actually French, eh? It makes sense when you consider that English is mainly made up of French and German and that, as far as I know, English-speaking people aren’t in general quite as passionate about their mushrooms. Chanterelles and pfifferlinge are much more specific and interesting than the prosaic “mushrooms.”

I’ll be back next week, hopefully with some newsy news which I’m excited to share with you.


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