It was a completely new experience for us, traipsing through the forest hunting for mushrooms.  Now, I’ve never been that big of fan of eating mushrooms, so I wouldn’t be opposed to using a .22 for the endeavor.  But, for the sake of my wife, who loves mushrooms, I used a knife.  Some colleagues and friends took us to a spot where they find lots of golden chanterelle, or girolle gris in French.  You should know that this is a really big deal.  There are lots of French who would NEVER disclose the whereabouts of their mushroom finds.  They take serious steps to keep their secret, even blindfolding those who might come with them.

At first I was tromping all over mushrooms, but eventually I gained an eye for them and went to work collecting.  The boys, meanwhile were running all over with their pocket knives open, sharpening sticks and whittling.  Luckily for them, their parents were doubled over, eyes focused on the ground.  In about an hour and a half we collected 750g of mushrooms.  If we were to buy that many at the store it would cost $30!

It gave me new eyes, and suddenly I’m seeing mushrooms everywhere, on the soccer field, in our yard, and even these beautiful red ones with white spots that are just fifty yards from our front door.  I haven’t touched them, but they’re amazing.  There’s a whole forest of them growing right by the path.  Once I saw a lady picking one, and when she saw me looking back at her she just said, “I know, I know.  But they’re just so pretty.”  Ah, la France…