Hi everyone, Roberto here to tell you about one of my greatest passions: picking wild mushrooms in Puglia!
Every year I look forward to the Autumn season: the first rainy days make me so happy and I can’t wait to wake up early in the morning, wear my rubber boots and go into the woods to spend as much time as I can looking for wild mushrooms.
If you’re a mushroom lover like me, you must know that Puglia is full of amazing forests where to find wild mushrooms and, if you’re planning to come to Puglia during the Autumn/Spring seasons you probably would like to know the best places where to find wild mushrooms and some rules to respect.
Can you pick-up mushrooms in Puglia?
First of all, you must know that in Italy you need to get a license to pick-up mushrooms but as a tourist, you probably will not have it.
The good news is that you can easily ask for a daily/weekly/monthly permission in every city hall of the towns related to the forest you would like to go in.
It costs not so much: like 5 euros per day, and it allows you to pick-up up to 3 kilos of mushrooms, not more!
Where are the best places to find mushrooms in Puglia?
Puglia is a warm region for most of the year and winters are not so cold here.
So this means that you will find mushrooms from the middle of October to January and from March to May.
The best areas where to find them are the National Park of Alta Murgia especially at the Mercadante Forest, Monte Cucco Forest, the forests around the Pulicchio of Gravina or at Rocca del Garagnone.
Going to the North, the best place for picking is the Umbra Forest which covers most of the Gargano Promontory and Faeto, a little village on the Daunia Mountains full of beechwoods.
Instead, in the Taranto area, you will find different types of mushrooms at Bosco delle Pianelle.
Salento is not the best place for mushrooms, but there’re some little areas around the town of Scorrano like Bosco Frasciola, Bosco Fanò, Bosco Signora and Bosco LucaGiovanni.
What are the most common wild mushrooms of Puglia?
There are several wild mushrooms we use to look for, pick and eat in Puglia.
Let’s talk about the most valuables.
Boletus’ are not very common here, but you’ll have the best chance to find them, as well as the Amanita Caesarea, in the Gargano area.
I personally know plenty of places where to find the Cantharellus Cibarius, Cornucopioides and Lutescens, but as mushrooms hunter, I cannot share my secrets. Shhh!
Both Lactarius Deliciosus and Lactarius Sanguifluus are very appreciated in Puglia and also very common to find, the same for Morchella Conica and Deliciosa.
In the end, there’s a wild mushroom in Puglia that is the most desired by all of us especially because it’s forbidden to pick it up in several areas: Cardoncello.
The star of Apulian wild mushrooms: Cardoncello, Pleurotus Eryngii.
If you’re planning to visit the National Park of Alta Murgia, probably you will find the Cardoncello mushroom, which has the scientific name of Pleurotus Eryngii.
It grows on many different kinds of plants like the Thistle, wild Fennel and Ferula.
During the whole Autumn, there’s a large number of folk festivals dedicated to the Cardoncello mushroom, especially in the Murgia area.
This mushroom is very appreciated for its nice and gentle flavour.
If you’re planning to go hunt this mushroom, be careful, not everywhere it’s allowed to pick it up.
Indeed, the Pleurotus Eryngii is a protected species of mushroom and in the National Park of Alta Murgia (where it is most common to find it), it’s everywhere illegal to pick it up.
Now you know almost everything about where and when picking up wild mushrooms in Puglia, so enjoy your holidays and your picking!
But, remember to run to the closest Heath Office to let an expert in mycology check the mushrooms you have been picking, before eating them.