When in season, mushroom hunting is one of our favorite pastimes at Seki Cottages. But before I start, a word of caution: Never eat a mushroom that you cannot clearly identify. We only collect and eat those mushrooms that we set out to look for. And those mushroom varieties, we know by heart. We know their distinguishing characteristics and how to tell them apart from other mushrooms that look similar but may be poisonous.
But there is almost nothing comparable to the excitement that finding some of those delicious forest dwellers, bringing them home and preparing them into a delicious, savory meal.
In South Turkey, in the region around Antalya and Side, at Seki Cottages, we collect the following types of mushrooms: we have found and prepared two types of Suillus mushrooms (very close relative to the boletes), the Mediterranean Suillus and the Suillus Collinitus (I prefer the German name, Ringloser Butterpilz – Ringless Butter Mushroom).
I also found saffron milk caps, clearly identifiable by its orange color and orange milk it releases when cut. Saffron milk caps are the most widely collected mushrooms in the area and locals usually eat them in omelets.
My favorite mushroom in this region is chanterelle. Locals do not eat it, so there are always plenty of chanterelles to be found in late autumn. Chanterelles are also one of the easiest mushrooms to identify, once you know how to distinguish them.
The most precious mushroom we have here, can be found in late February and march, morels.
There are various large and small mushrooms that we are still trying to identify. All this mushroom madness is happening within 800m Seki Cottages, so practically our own backyard!