Today in Espoo central park, the yellow beauties had arrived!
Yellow swamp russula (Keltahapero), the beautiful sun-like spark on the ground, is a delicious edible mushroom. Its cap is the color of buttercup (leinikki) and stem is greyish white. The Finnish name of russula, ‘hapero’, means fragile. It’s very descriptive name for this mushroom, whose stem easily snaps when bent. This is the easiest way to identify any russula. Also the cap and its gills are fragile.
Another yellow beauty is of course chanterelle. When it emerges from the ground, it looks like someone has sprinkled golden coins into the forest. Chanterelle has a very pleasant and distinctive scent, making it an easy mushroom for beginners to identify and pick. No wonder it is one of favorite mushrooms throughout Finland.
Yellow swamp russula is a tricky treat. Although this summer it grows widely in the forest, it’s a challenge to find it before the maggots do. Even as a small young mushroom which looks perfect from the outside, it may be fully eaten from inside by maggots. You can feel this if you gently push the mushroom. If the stem feels light, you can leave the mushroom on the ground. Even though it can be difficult to find clean yellow swamp russula, I promise, it is worth trying! This mushroom as a strong hemp-like scent when fried, and the taste is very exquisite. It’s best enjoyed on its own, without mixing with other mushrooms, so that the great taste does itself justice. It goes well in an omelet and as a side dish to white fish or a salad.
When you find a chanterelle, it’s worthwhile to look carefully around. Where there’s one, there’s usually more. Both the yellow swamp russula and chanterelle enjoy the company of birch trees. So if you desire to find these, head towards the birches and look around within approximately 30 meters distance from the tree. Chanterelle is very versatile mushroom, you can use it for sauce, stew, pies and it tastes great on a pizza.