A sophisticated family of spore-bearing fruiting bodied Hyphae which is most definitely shrouded in severe mystery.
For centuries mycelium hibernates until the environment becomes just right before releasing energy, which in turn starts to form.
Once activated, they cryptically develop into varients of many kinds as they spread through method growth which could possibly have only be designed by an alien life form.
Puffballs explode releasing spores; wood bearing beings continually breathe reproductive drive - While others spread through faecal matter or even hatch out inside of insect carriers, these delicate life forms are genuinely intriguing.
There is no doubt about it, the mighty world of the mushroom family is an undiscovered and most cryptic place.
Most of us love a cheeky chestnut option rolled with fatty butter & laced with a salty edge or even flat caps baked with combined garden flavours revealing that tender flesh and tasty result.
The cultivated world exploded many decades ago, bringing commodity options to the masses, but most still don't even take the time to think about what they are consuming.
Whitecap, button, chestnut, are all grown in humongous worldwide volume as the fast activating mycelium enables rapid, controlled growth in constant environments across the globe.
Ireland, Poland and China being global mushroom dominators.
These tasty treats are continually developed to offer yield benefits while flavour refining is now a scientific thing as growers across the planet refine their processes to make many happy memories once their crop is consumed.
What about the wild options though we hear you tick - Well this is most definitely an undiscovered world and although the supply of foraged options is pretty consistent this untapped existence of alien look-alikes is severely dangerous if uneducated minds decide to go out and consume.
Rash, blindness and even death can instantaneous occur if the wring mushroom is ripped from it's growth and consumed.
As chefs, we expect uniformity and that's one thing the wild mushroom world doesn't have - Girolles, Chanterelle, Mousseron, Cepe, Truffle, Mouton are all familiar names and once ordered expectancy of delivery is set.
Deep flavoured options arrive once submitted to be cleaned and ready to hit the heat of a non-stick pan.
Wild mushrooms don't simply grow in tunnels or dead logs in someone's greenhouses - These delicate elusive variants are hunted by experts across the forest floors throughout Europe and beyond as they spawn sporadically looking to reproduce in mass in the wildest of environments,
Sore knees and razor-sharp eyes help to harvest all your firm favourites as pickers kneel and delicately snip to pull the deep flavoured wild options from their reproductive stage especially for you.
Its back aching work only taken on by selected experts in the most miserable of conditions But their love of funghi is humongous and without their sheer dedication, you couldn't create those most amazing wild mushroom dishes we all so love.
Next time you are skimming the stalks of a girolle, splitting down the stems of a black death trompette or relishing in that sublime flavour of a meaty cepe.
Just take a thought for the work that has gone by from those who have hunted down, gently picked, graded, stored, sold, transported, consolidated and delivered to make sure you can enjoy their use to It's full.
The wild mycelia will no doubt be still thriving even if the world arrived to a sudden end!!!
Maybe it’s time to respect their truly mystical existence, so next time one hands in your chopping board just stop and marvel at it's beauty.
Thoughts For The Week Ahead:
You never realize what a good memory you have until you try to forget something.