It’s been the rumour around in the streets of the village for two weeks. And is still going! “niscalos this, niscalos that…!”
“ Are the niscalos out already” would say a woman when getting off of the tiny shop;
“ We are going to get niscalos even in the kitchen!” would joke a man in the bar, making allusions to the amount of rain fell during the last two weeks.
“Have you being looking for niscalos already?” “ Yes. Went out two days ago, but nothing yet”
And so on. Everybody speaking about niscalos!
Niscalo is the local name for the wild mushroom Lactarius deliciosus that grows in some pine tree forests on autumn. They are considered a delicatessen, quite pricy when bought fresh in the shops.
So, during autumn, one of the favourite themes for discussion and sport is going out to the forest looking for niscalos. The problem is that they don’t grow everywhere in the forest, but only in very specific and “secret” places, and they tend to be hidden below the dead pine leaves in the floor…not easy to find, that’s to say!
This morning I went out to find them for the second time this week…and nothing! I started to believe that it was a myth or a joke from the locals. But, we manage to get the help from Miguel, the man in the bar “El Rincon”, who took us to a patch in the forest, and in less than ten minutes we had half a dozen in the bag…nice!
I haven’t found one single niscalo myself yet, but now I know who they look like, and how to find them…I think!
That’s how they look like, freshly collected from the forest…
Exactly like their Latin name, Delicious! They are very “meaty” with a subtle taste…plus, the flavour of something harvested directly from the forest…ok, ok too sentimental perhaps!!
I’ll try to find some more in the coming days. It is fun, actually, just being out under the sun, between the trees, looking at the floor, trying to find this tasty treasure. It reminds me Sheffield, when trying to find a different sort of mushrooms…