When mushroom fever breaks out in Tyrol, there's no stopping me. Then I'm one of the many resourceful gourmets who roam the woods looking for mushrooms with a pocket knife and a cloth bag. The mushroom legends of the "perfect place" - the greatest secret of every mushroom collector - conceal the fact that sometimes you are unlucky and don't find any at all. Recently, I even found a very special such Platzl, which is located in the heart of the Alps and relies neither on a mushroom season nor on secret treasure maps. But remains between us.
Lucky mushroom meets lucky mushroom
An inconspicuous Saturday morning, I stroll searchingly through the summery cityscape. Restlessly, my steps carry me across the colorful farmers' markets, driven by an insatiable greed for fresh mushrooms. But domestic fresh commodity off the autumn season would be a solid miracle and to the common supermarket Schwammerl of questionable origin I hold nevertheless rather lasting safety distance. It is a correspondingly long walk, which finally leads me to the farmers' market at Wiltener Platzl. Immediately my sense of smell strikes, for connoisseurs unmistakably, here is mushroom smell in the air. Like a truffle pig, I willingly let myself be guided and end up where I belong: at the market stall of Myzelia Tiroler Bio-Pilze. Boss Cornelia sees me drooling and smiles: "Your first time with us?
The Tyrolean mushroom baker
Caught. And immediately I get involved in a conversation of the very first order: Mushroom, herb oyster mushroom and grilled portobello, also oyster mushroom and shitake are offered for sale, recipe ideas are free of charge. Because I want to touch everything again, I get a small mushroom as a gift. I examine the mushroom - it shines thick and happy, smells fresh and fabulous. The specialist knows her trade not only in sales, because the mushrooms are actually obtained here from first hand. A real Tyrolean mushroom farmer, I am amazed. Cornelia laughs and invites me without further ado to her masterpiece in Mils for the coming week - to the place where the delicacies come from. Today she doesn't have so much time, after all it's market day and her goods are in great demand, she winks, and the queue behind me is also hungry. So I quickly have a colorful selection of her organic mushroom products weighed into my sack and wave goodbye to the queue: "My first time here.
Mushroom pesto for mushrooms
Well, not only: Take a suitable amount of freshly caught mushrooms (about 300g herb saitling, gladly also with oyster mushroom and champignon) roast coarsely cut on good heat golden-aromatic. Add two finely chopped shallots and sauté until translucent, then add half of the mushroom quantity of nuts (about 150g of almonds, cashews or even pignioli) and two fresh garlic cloves and let cool. Season the mixture with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, lemon juice, thyme and puree finely. Transfer to a sealable container, cover with olive oil and store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Note: The fact that the Tyrolean organic mushrooms hardly leave any water when sautéed should not irritate you. This is exactly how a real quality mushroom behaves, outrageously delicious aroma included.
Myzelia: The masterpiece in Mils
A few days after my mushroom pesto, I visit Cornelia at her masterpiece in Mils. And of course her noble mushroom farm looks a bit different from conventional farms. With good reason, because mushroom cultivation is highly complex and requires a sure instinct that goes far beyond green fingers. Cornelia turned her dream of regional organic mushrooms into reality in 2014, and today there are 24 greenhouses, 60 employees and 20-30 tons of fresh mushrooms per week. Room-high shelves fill the six climate chambers in Mils, such a noble mushroom is quite demanding. The recipe for success is called vertical farming; only natural resources are used, refined into the finest organic fertilizer at the end of the cycle. The necessary energy is supplied by solar power and geothermal energy, because sustainability is a matter of honor at Edelpilz. During our tour of the plant, I am amazed at how much high-tech is used here. The mushrooms actually make it to the table in just 24 hours, smiles the mushroom maker with satisfaction.
Life in time lapse
It produces the precious mushrooms in so-called primary production - from the spore(mycelium) to the fruiting body (mushroom). To do this, all four seasons must be simulated in fast motion in the climate chambers. The mushrooms are then ripe for harvesting in just four to six weeks. Timing is incredibly important - and a real challenge. Sometimes the mushrooms need a little longer, so the more than 60 helpers here are on duty almost around the clock, even on weekends and holidays. Freshness guarantee with genuine Tyrolean heart blood thus, which one can refer here then also in the small yard store directly "ex factory". Also in gastronomy and retail you only have to look for the Myzelia quality label throughout Austria (keyword supermarket Schwammerl). Also I do not go with empty hands and let me fill my Schwammerl Sackl once again to the brim. I have become brave and this time try Chinese Jiaozi with shitake filling. Because: When the mushroom fever grabs me, there's no stopping me.
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A small "scribbler" with huge passions. Born, raised and refined in Tyrol. Loves to read and can cook almost as well as his grandma. At his happiest when out and about and searching for new horizons.