Perrechico (Calocybe gambosa)

Today we are going to talk about a fairly well-known type of mushroom and it is one of the most consumed and abundant in the areas where it occurs. It is about the Perrechico. Its scientific name is Calocybe gambosa, which is measured by popular names such as seta de San Jorge, usones, muchardones, mujardónes, etc. Such is the fondness for collecting this mushroom that many of the specimens can be paid up to 100 euros per kilo. Its normal price in the middle of the season is not that high, but is around 20-30 euros per kilo.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics and properties of the Perrechico.

Main features

This mushroom has a hat that can exceed 10 centimeters in diameter. When it is young it has the hat with the edges rolled inwards and, as it develops and reaches the adult stage, it becomes convex and flat. The color is matte whitish cream. It is a fairly fleshy hat.

It has white blades when they are young and they turn more cream in color when the mushroom is mature. These sheets are numerous and are closely packed together. They are also of the adnate type and are slightly low-cut. As for the foot, it has a whitish color and is quite short on some occasions. It has a central position and a cylindrical shape, although sometimes we can find them thickened at the base, with a solid and pruinous appearance.

Its meat is firm and compact. We can identify the Perrechico because the meat is white and has a strong and characteristic smell of flour. The flavor is also markedly mealy which makes them quite palatable.

Habitat and area of ​​distribution of the Perrechico

We can find this mushroom exclusively during the spring time. It belongs to the group of spring mushrooms. The main habitat of this species is the mountain meadows, along with heather, sloe or wild rose bushes. Although these places are those where we can find a greater abundance of perrechicos, we can also find them in the coastal areas, in orchards, gardens and it is frequent especially in the north of the Iberian Peninsula.

It is a good edible that reaches astronomical prices for all those fans of mushroom picking. This increased price is due to the fact that its time of appearance is short and scarce in many areas. Many people think that the value of this mushroom is overrated.

Doggy fans value the smallest specimens. These are usually a mistake since collecting them at this time does not give time for the mushrooms to develop with all its expiration. This seriously affects future perrechicos appearances. Therefore, they will be collecting in excess and poorly planned is causing clear setbacks in the area of ​​distribution and the abundance of perrechicos. Such is the problem that in some areas they are disappearing.

To alleviate this problem, excessive pressure must be added to the collectors, who are the ones who travel hundreds of kilometers to collect them. Mycologist experts say that it is necessary to put order in the collection limiting the number of established kilos and a minimum size. As is done with fish in the world of fishing, the Perrechico must also have a minimum harvest size. And there are some occasions in which fans of mushroom picking collect perrechicos so small that they do not exceed one cm in size. In this way, they do not allow the reproductive cycle to be carried out correctly and the total number of individuals is decreasing.

Edibility and possible confusion of the Perrechico

The flavor of this mushroom does not change with size. This is one of the reasons why pickers pick it up when they are very small. They maintain the same flavor throughout their growth. They also maintain the aroma and texture, it does not matter if it measures 2 cm as long as it has the complete cycle developed.

They tend to grow in mountain meadows mainly in the areas of the Pyrenees and northern Spain. We can find them in brambles and poplar groves. It is common for them to grow in rows of witches or rows and is most abundant in mountain glades and grasslands. They are mushrooms that, when they grow and develop, usually choose the same place to grow again. This means that among mushroom hunters there are many secrets around the distribution and where to find them. It has been found some cases that gps coordinates are sold online where to find the perrechicos mushrooms.

You have to be careful with any specimen that may be toxic because it is some perfidious or deceptive mushroom instead of a Perrechico. And the thing is that the Perrechico is a mushroom that generates enough confusion. Although it has a pleasant taste and smell, it does not smell like flour and the breath is pink. In the case of perrechicos the spore is completely white.

As for the confusion of the Perrechico, it can be confused with the Tricholomella constricta, but this specimen grows during the autumn season and looks for highly nitrogenous soils. Another of the possible confusions is the Entoloma sinuatum, although it is also autumnal and its smell is less mealy. You have to be especially careful with this mushroom as it is very toxic.

It is an excellent edible, it is consumed and marketed in profusion. Many people have come to pay very high prices for the perrechico. Its consumption is intensive during certain days in some populations. One of them is the day of San Prudencio in Vitoria. On this day of extradition, eat them in scrambled eggs. Its consistency is somewhat harsh but it has a taste with an aftertaste or a bit bitter, which makes not all fans like it.

It is difficult to mistake this mushroom for being in spring when it is fruiting but you can also find some time when it is not usually abundant.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Perrechico.

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