Thursday, October 23, 2008

Milky Cap Mushrooms

Oh no not another mushroom post....oh yes it is & I can't promise that this will be the last.

These are called Lactarius deliciosus or Milky cap or Les Marseillais.

Ask anybody around here & they will tell you that these mushrooms grow in abundance in our woods. Of course the exact location is a highly guarded secret. I've seen people walking out with baskets full of these & naturally my interest was piqued.

Based on some rough directions (I suppose I was given this very privileged information by virtue of the fact that I live here but it was still scatchy) by Mr Chautard (he who owns the fig tree), I went in search of these mushrooms. It was my lucky day cos within hours, I found about 15 of them.

They grow near pine trees which is why in the pictures you see them all covered in pine needles. The part of the woods that I found them is a little overgrown, full of blackberry bushes with thorns & if one doesn't have a good sense of direction, could get themselves lost. Perhaps that was why I was able to find so many - I doubt too many people have trekked that area.

I broke several cardinal rules that day - I put them in a plastic bag which was the reason they were in less than stellar condition & I forgot my knife *gasp*. A good thing nobody saw me cos given how passionate the French are about doing things the right way, I'm sure I would have been given a earful for my sloppiness. My excuse - I really hadn't expected to find any, I thought I'd just recce the place.

These mushrooms ooze an orange milk when cut which makes them easy to be identified - see how my fingers are tainted orange. But boy do they perish quickly, I didn't have time to prepare them immediately & before I knew it, they were already turning green.

In the end, I cooked them as I normally do with other type of mushrooms - boil them first in water then fried with garlic & butter. They are meatier & don't shrink too much after cooking. I was a little disappointed with my first taste of these mushrooms - they are not as flavorful as say chanterelles or cepes. I just read that they make excellent meat substitutes in vegetarian mock meat dishes so I will prepare them differently the next time.

Cos there must be a reason they are so popular that they get sold by the truckloads to Marseille thereby earning the nickname Les Marseillais.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm from Spore. Found yr blog while looking for search terms "HK eating or food" in Google. Wow, a Sporean living the life of Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" come alive!

Coincidentally in Peter Mayle's autobiography, there is a Renee who is his food khaki, both are gourmands. He turns to Renee for advice on food just like you do. I think they did truffle hunting too.

Another coincidence is that Peter Mayle was from the advertising industry. He was the former Art or Media Director of an advertising firm before he moved to France. Are you from the broader media industry too as some sections of yr blog mentioned yr work in NYC representing some chef?

About those mushrooms, why not make tempura mushrooms as these have 2 textures: crunchy & springy. Mushrooms still retain its taste. OR
With winter approaching, why not do claypot rice filled with mushrooms & cured French sausages in place of lap cheong. Then douse soy sauce over it.

Could I also ask you why did u give birth in Spore instead of in France? As I have read that in France, they have state paid live in confinement woman who cooks & looks after you & baby. Also at French maternity hospitals, they have a lady who goes around to do make up & hair do so that tired mothers can look presentable to visitors! Unlike Spore, where its Pay & Pay!

SIG said...

Maybe make burgers with them to replace meat patty?

petite fleur said...

Anonymous - Interesting that my blog would be linked to HK eating or food cos I hardly ever talk about HK.

It has been ages since I last read A year in Provence. Maybe it's time to re-read it again.

Great idea tempura mushrooms. As for the other questions, write to me at & I'll reply to you there.

SIG - Another great suggestion. Looks like I've got to go hunt me down some more of these mushrooms to try them out.