Mushrooms (fungi) were highly appreciated in the past. Indeed, it seems that the oldest graphic representation of a mushroom is one found on a mural in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amemenhat, dated 1450 BC.
The abundance of species makes Navarre an authentic paradise for mushroom lovers
. The climate and the geographical location of the region make the old "kingdom" a Land of Diversity, also in this type of product. The autumn rains favour the proliferation of fungi and mushrooms, and as the colder weather arrives the areas where they can be found move from the north to the warmer areas of the Ribera in the south.Main species in Navarre
The most appreciated edible species are boletus aereus (ondo beltza in Basque) which is usually found in autumn in oak, beech and chestnut woods; boletus edulis (onddo zuria), which experts related to the summer and autumn in evergreen and deciduous forests. The 'queen' is amanita caesarea (gorringo), one of the most valued mushrooms which, it is said, announces the end of the season.
Among the most sought-after varieties of mushrooms are perretxikos, and the illarraka (or pardilla). The perretxiko, although abundant in the northern half of Navarre, is difficult to find; in season the people of the Roncal valley add them to the "migas de pastor" and they acquire an exceptional flavour. The illarraka found among box and beech trees is more valued than the one from pine groves, because this tree gives it a certain resiny taste. The autumn is the time of the sought-after hongo beltza. See a typical dish with this productUltzama mushroom park
This is a pioneering project that aims to regulate excessive mushroom collection in this fertile valley of 5,800 hectares. Mushroom enthusiasts have to pay a fee of between five and ten euros a day depending on the quantity of mushrooms collected.
The park also has an information point in Lizaso, with extensive descriptions of the numerous edible species
in the area. The visitor can clarify any doubts he/she may have about mushrooms here. Activities around mushrooms
The season starts in the north at the end of September. Every year the locality of Elgorriaga is home to a festivity organised by the 'Guild of mushrooms and fungi of Navarre' in which local people and visitors have the opportunity to taste the gastronomic properties of this delicious delicacy. The north, full of beech and oak forests, offers an abundance of milk cap and pine mushrooms and the oronja (or kuleto) variety can also be found; it is also called the 'queen of mushrooms' or 'king's mushroom'.
Every year mushroom enthusiasts can attend a number of events such as the Jornadas de Setas y Hongos
organised by the Hotel and Catering Association of Navarre in October. Some restaurants offer special menus with mushrooms as the stars.
In Valdorba, a pleasant valley located near Pamplona, there are several signposted mushroom routes. In late October and early November the 'Mushroom Seminar of the Valdorba' is held, and a Truffle Fair
in December in which one of the main events is a demonstration of how truffles are collected using dogs, pigs or boar.
Tudela, the main town in southern Navarre, is host to a Mushroom Seminar
organised by Peña Beterri in November.