Keep in mind that mushroom hunting is not something that you can do on your own if you are not an expert in recognizing the edible ones from the poisonous. You will find many mushroom hunting clubs that will organize these fun tours around Greece from the island of Ikaria to Northern Greece. You can find information on Face Book and on the internet as www.manitari.gr (in Greek). They are also sites in English such as visitgreece.gr and www.grecopaths.gr as your best choice.
The following article is by George Konstantinidis an expert mushroom professor and author of many books on mushrooms.
Mushrooms in the region of Grevena
In the forests, scrublands, valleys and river banks of Grevena hundreds of species of mushrooms appear. From 1989 to today I recorded, photographed and studied more than 2500 kind of mushrooms in that region. From these, 1200 were identified till now. Many of these recordings are the first nationwide, several species considered rare in Europe and some referred to as extinct species or endangered. The area with the most commercial mushrooms interest is the area of Voio, in the northern part of the county, while the greatest variety is found on the east side of Orliakas, in Valia Calda and Balci.
The precise determination (identification) of species is the most critical point in collecting wild mushrooms. Unfortunately there is no general rule distinguishing edible from poisonous species.
The only rule which applies generally when collecting mushrooms is the one that says, we gather for food only those whose characteristics we know with absolute certainty. The slightest doubt will be a reason for rejection. Knowing therefore the specific characteristics and careful observation are the only warranties and conditions, to secure recognition of an item or for its classification in the unknown if they are species not listed in our recordings.
I took part on a tour like that organized for my cooking school not long ago. We collected, had fun, gave the mushrooms to the expert to choose the edible ones and I cooked the rest for my group out in the forest.
If you are planning a trip to Greece after the summer, look for an alternative tourism that will definitely be adventures, interesting and “tasty”
Photos by TGC