Collecting mushrooms is one of the favorite hobbies for a Spanish picnic, especially in advanced ages. The Spanish geography has a wide range of mushrooms for their fields. Among them, several types of poisonous mushrooms that it is important to know before going out to collect them, since many of them can even endanger our lives.
Although we will review this type of chanterelles below to help you distinguish them carefully, it is advisable that If you do not have very advanced knowledge in this matter, go out and collect them with someone with some experience that can guide you especially on where to find them and which ones you should not take so as not to put your health at risk.
It is commonly known as the death mushroom, one of many in the genus Amanita. It grows during the mushroom season (September to February) and throughout the peninsula. and forms ectomycorrhizae with several broad-leaved trees. In some cases, this fungus has been introduced to new regions with the cultivation of non-native oak, chestnut and pine species. Large fruiting bodies appear in summer and fall; hats are generally greenish with a white stipe and gills. The color of the hat is variable and includes white shapes, and is therefore not a reliable identifier.
These toxic mushrooms resemble several edible species, especially Caesar mushroom and straw mushroom, commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning. Amatoxins, the class of toxins found in these mushrooms, are heat stable. This means that they resist changes due to heat, so their toxic effects are not reduced by cooking.
Another toxic amanita is the verna, which born exclusively in spring and in meadows and pine forests. The hat, which measures 4 to 8 centimeters, is convex and extended, smooth or slightly fibrillated white and adorned with rare fragments of volve. Its margin is thin, fluffy, and possibly cracked, but not streaked. The stipes are quite tight, uneven and white; the spores are whitish and the stipe measures 7 to 13 centimeters, it is silky white, filled and hollow.
Its meat is thin and tender, its flavor is sweet (raw, just a few grams are enough to be deadly) and its smell is virile. It is not advisable to handle it without gloves. This rather rare species comes singly or in small groups, in acidic, sandy soils, undergrowth of light broad-leaved trees, oaks and chestnut trees in particular. Spring Amanita is lethal, including small amounts. The active agents and symptoms are the same as for phalloid amanita.
Known as fly swatter, appears throughout the Spanish geography between late summer and early fall. It is associated with various deciduous and coniferous trees. It is possibly the most iconic species of mushroom, with a big white gill hat and usually red. It is one of the most recognizable and widely found in popular culture.
Although it is classified as poisonous, not considered deadly, although it has great neurotoxic effects, as well as on the gastrointestinal system. After boiling twice with water drainage, which weakens its toxicity and breaks down the psychoactive substances of the fungus, it is eaten in some parts of Europe, Asia and North America. Noted for its hallucinogenic properties.
It is a species of deadly fungus in the family Cortinariaceae, less common in Spain than those previously mentioned. Within the genus it belongs to a group known as Orellani, whose members are highly toxic. Eating them results in kidney failure, which is often irreversible. The fungus is generally tan to brown in color all over. They grow in summer and autumn in broadleaf forests and their effects, which may take days to appear, can be fatal. The main symptoms of intoxication are tiredness, intense thirst and dry mouth, loss of appetite, headache, and kidney and liver problems.
Found in broadleaf and mixed forests in warmer regions and is classified as a poisonous mushroom, known for cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. However, reports of poisoning are rare, due to its conspicuous appearance and sometimes a putrid odor, which discourages its collection.
The fruiting bodies are plump and brightly colored, and often massive and imposing, with a velvety, pale, opaque top up to 12 inches wide, yellow to orange-red pores, and a bulbous, red-patterned stem. The flesh turns blue when cut or bruised and overripe fruit bodies often emit an unpleasant odor reminiscent of carrion. It is possibly the largest mushroom found in Spain and Europe, weighing up to 2 kilos.
Normally fructifies in sandy soils under coniferous trees in spring and early summer. The fruiting body has a brain-shaped irregular hat dark brown in color that can reach 10 centimeters high and 15 centimeters wide, perched on a stipid of up to 6 centimeters. Even if is life threatening if eaten raw, is considered a delicacy in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. It is popular in some districts of the eastern Pyrenees, but its sale to the public in Spain is prohibited.
It is still parboiled before preparation, but evidence suggests that this procedure may not make it completely safe for consume. When ingested, the main active agent, gyromitrin, hydrolyzes into the toxic compound monomethylhydrazine. The toxin affects the liver, central nervous system, and sometimes the kidneys. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea several hours after consumption, followed by dizziness, lethargy, and headache. Severe cases can lead to delirium, coma, and death after five to seven days.