Sourcing Tesco finest*wild mushrooms


My day will normally start at first light either at a spot where I know I'm going to get some mushrooms or sometimes I go out looking for new spots and get an eye for the trees and the way the land is and try and identify what's going to be a good place or not a good place. There's areas that I know that I will never be telling another soul.

I've been picking wild mushrooms for the better part of 12 years now. Picking wild mushrooms is never going to be something you can just pick up and learn in a couple of days; it takes years of experience of learning everything you possibly can to make sure that you're getting the right mushrooms, getting them at the right time from the right place. That is perfect.

Scotland's a very good area for wild mushrooms, largely because of the climate; it's quite often damp, there's a lot of rotting wood about, a lot of the right types of trees and all those things combined and quite often you get a very good area to find mushrooms in.

Tesco source mushrooms from many places in the world, particularly when they're in season, but the best time to get the Scottish ones will be July and August. These mushrooms are growing in association with the tree roots from the beech trees and the pine trees around us. It's a symbiotic relationship between the mushroom and with the tree. The tree helps to grow a little bit better, the mushroom gets nutrients from the tree and at the right times of year, such as this, again, you see them all come together, they come out.

Underneath the mushroom you see are all these gills and the spores form and fall out of those gills and they can get carried off on the wind or with insects into new areas and that can give you a new patch of mushrooms or it can fall down and grow new mycelium and just help with the mycelium that's already there. Even once you've done this, the spores are on your feet, they're on your hands, they're on your clothes; you walk off through the forest, you spread spores everywhere you go.

It's about trying to pick in a respectful and sustainable manner.

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