Sunday, September 17, 2006
I don't know if you've ever found, picked and eaten cep mushrooms, but it's a wonderful experience. These funghi grow in woods without anyone planting a seed. You can cut them away without damaging the future produce and they grow literally in just a few hours. All that, and they taste incredible. When we went to the Dordogne region recently, we were lucky enough to be given a whole bag full of ceps and we cooked them with garlic and parsley - they were delicious.
Fishing is another delight, when you can hook your dinner and prepare it within an hour, it is fresher than any fishmonger's supplies.
Yesterday a few friends came over for dinner, one brought with them a large bag full of ceps and other kinds of mushrooms, wrapped in bracken to keep them from being damaged. The other carried a little black bucket with four perch and one other whose name escapes me.
We decided that after my chicken, avacado and parmesan salad we'd cook the ceps and eat them separately from the fish to enjoy their flavours.
Clearly an evil brand of mushroom was lurking in the bag, because they ALL tasted terrible. Ceps have a soft luxurious taste not far from the taste of truffles, but these ones tasted like nothing I've ever willingly consumed. Needless to say, the pan remained full and we didn't eat more than the first bite. I thought of how dangerous eating poisonous mushrooms could be, but our friend assured me he knows what they look like, and here I am 20 hours later with no symptoms, so all turned out well.
The fish was not a lot better, bland and tasting like river, but my cherry tart and home-made yoghurt went down a treat. I think next time I'll stick to the market.