Hunting for Mushrooms in Villach

Autumn is finally here and that means mushroom season! Foraging for wild mushrooms in the forest is a favorite Autumn activity for Austrians. The farmer’s market is packed with Eierschwammerl (chanterelles) and Steinpilze (boletus) from happy farmers showing off their foraged finds. I love Austrian mushroom season, especially since many restaurants will feature mushroom dishes on their menus. My mouth waters just thinking about Eierschwammerl goulash.

I am new to the art of mushroom foraging, so this year I decided to join in on the fun. Foraging spots are typically safely guarded secrets for mushroom enthusiasts, so I opted to get out into the woods and explore on my own. Since I would prefer not to die by mushroom, I have decided not to pick any mushrooms this year. I primarily spend my time hunting for mushrooms to take pictures of rather than eating. I have learned some edible local varieties with hopes of expanding into full foraging next year.

The best time to go foraging for mushrooms is after a rainstorm. We have had some lovely rainstorms in Villach throughout September so there have been plenty of mushrooms.

Even though brightly colored mushrooms look good, they are not for eating. They may look like something out of a fairytale but can be deadly. Take pictures of these pretty toadstools instead of touching them. 

In Villach, there is a Pilzmuseum (Mushroom Museum) that features displays and information in German about mushrooms. I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but it seems adorable. The museum has models of mushrooms and little nature dioramas. Right up my alley. 

I look forward to improving my mushroom identification skills. Hopefully, by this time next year, I will be a pro.

More information about Mushrooms in Villach

  • Mushroom Ordinance: the rules for collecting mushrooms
  • Pilz Lehrschau: educational display of mushrooms which are dangerous in Villach. Located at Burgplatz 4, Villach

 

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