Re: Article ‘Mushrooms – fungi to die for’ (Algarve Resident, September 26)

Dear Editor
I read Sue Parker’s article on mushrooms in the Algarve with interest. I’m an Algarvian myself from S. Brás de Alportel and sadly never searched for mushrooms in the Algarve because I never thought there could be mushrooms there.
Guess what? It seems there are, and many of them are used in some of the best gastronomy (like the Boletus).
I’m a big fan of nature and wildlife, and love going out into the woods and discover what they have reserved for us.
Have you had some experience with fungi in the area of S. Brás de Alportel? I ask you this because the soil in this region looks very poor to me (clay/silty soil) for mushroom growing.
I would love if there would be mushrooms in the region though. I currently (and sadly) live in Switzerland (amazing for fungi, I shall say) and would love to collect some mushrooms during my stay there in December.
Marco de São Vicente
By email
Editor’s note: Thank you Marco. We asked Sue Parker to reply: “Dear Marco, Thanks for your message regarding my recent article on fungi in the Algarve, which is one of the best places I know for finding mushrooms. Poor soil does not necessarily preclude mushrooms from growing and we have found plenty of fungi around São Brás. Only last week we found barometer earthstars, milkcaps, parasols, puffballs, honey fungus, chanterelles and an edible bolete in that area. In the Algarve most of the edible species are associated with trees and shrubs, although, of course, there are also a few agaricus species that grow in grass. The majority of edible fungi have poisonous look-alikes and so it is most important to be absolutely certain of their identity before consuming them. One final point is that, compared with northern Europe, the Algarve has a much extended fungi season often lasting from late September through to April particularly in upland forested areas. Happy hunting! Sue”