Τhe last 15 years, mushrooms became valuable part of Greek consumers’ diet. New mushroom plants have launched, special cultivated varieties ( Lentinula, Hericium, etc.) have been considerably growing and many young peoplemake a living hunting truffles and wild mushrooms . Αfter the economic crisis of 2009, people living in big cities returned to their villages starting business in forestry or agriculture. “Dirfis mushrooms” was established in 2003 in Mount Dirfis (Euboea) by two agronomists-mycologists (Agricultural University of Athens), Lefteris Lachouvaris and Thanassis Mastrogiannis, representing a success story of the hidden potential of the mushroom and truffles related activities.
Nectariss aims to create the ultimate truffle flavour from real truffles, addressing three main problems of truffle products:
- the lack of authenticity of existing truffle aromas that are mainly prepared either synthetically or from seafood and vegetables;
- the poor diversity of existing commercial truffle flavours (only few compared to hundreds of truffle sorts);
- the lack of geographical traceability in truffle products and the consequent consumers' misconceptions that truffles exclusively come from few regions (i.e. Alba, Périgord), when they are really valuable resources of most Mediterranean countries.
City of Alba (Piedmont region, Italy) and the surrounding area, the Langhe and Roero are well known for wine production and some local gastronomic peculiarities, such as white truffle. Unfortunately, over the past 25 years, against a continuing increase in the value of farming products (grapes for wine and hazelnut for chocolate and sweet) and a consequent expansion of cultivated surface, there has been a 30% reduction in truffle-growing areas. “Save the Truffle” aims to promote alternative activities for recovering old truffle-beds and planting new truffle-generating plants.
The Natural History Museum of Meteora and Mushroom Museum has been established in December 2014, in Kalambaka, Greece. It is a private museum that stems from the collaboration of three people sharing the same interests about nature. The Museum’s collections consist of about 350 species of animals and 250 species of mushrooms and their natural habitats that are presented into dioramas. Beyond its general objectives (to highlight natural heritage, enhance environmental awareness, organize educational activities etc.), the Museum aims to focus on the closest relationship among mushrooms, nature, and the people, but also to highlight their unknown, but high nutritional value.
In 2005, Kanela & Garyfallo was founded in the village of Vitsa, in the mountainous region of Zagori in NW Greece, as a thematic restaurant specializing in edible mushrooms. Considering that Greece is a country where mushrooms are considered largely unsafe and / or unsavory, this was a bold move. The objective difficulties in turning this bold move to a success story were acknowledged from the start and the proprietor set out as his objective to educate the public and rely on the positive personal experience of his clients to overcome prejudice and recognize the value of an important local resource.
The European Union defines, through several documents, the cultivation and collection of mushrooms and truffles as the primary product in agriculture. There are a number of measures in place in Croatia to encourage primary agricultural production, but truffle farming is not one of them. In order to offer the rural parts of Croatia new economic activity, which can be extremely profitable, it is necessary to draw up a plan for the implementation of the European Directive and to adapt the relevant laws on the basis of professional and scientific research.
The EMI’s mission is to support the wild edible mushrooms sector in Europe. The EMI's origin relies on: a) the lack of data and reliable statistics, b) the lack of management (mycosilviculture) guidelines adapted to climate change, c) the lack of a governance and regulation system fitted for controlling collection and market globalization, among others.
For solving those shortcomings, the EMI will support stakeholders in the territorial transitions by means of exchanging good practices, research and innovation, in order to take advantage of the European Cooperation for a joint strategy in opportunities as myco-tourism, agri-food quality products and criteria for the sustainable management of mycological resources.
The success of a truffle plantation relies on the presence and abundance of T. melanosporum in the roots of the seedlings the farmers plant to obtain the crop of truffles. Yet, most farmers lack the skills to distinguish a plant with the fungus from one without it. Therefore, independent testing of the plants to be planted is critical to protect the farmers from errors or fraud in the nurseries leading to the sale of plants that will never produce truffles. Our aim was to develop a test that a trained technician could perform in a short period of time to keep the cost low.
The objective of this research is to evaluate the potential of remote sensing data for the modelling of mushroom yields in forests at large spatial scales. Specifically, we want to see if combining remote sensor-based data could represent more accuracy to the current models which are based on climate observations. Showing the potential of remote sensing to model mushroom yields is a first step for the future development of small-scale predictive models.
Over the last 20 years, an unprecedented phenomenon of micophilia is recorded in Greece, accompanied by remarkable social, economic, cultural and research activity. The focus of this activity is Grevena, a small town of 13,500 inhabitants at an altitude of 530 meters at the northeastern end of the North Pindos National Park, in Western Macedonia. In recent years Grevena has been considered in the consciousness of the Greeks as synonymous with mushrooms and it is recognized today as the undisputed mushroom capital of the Balkans.
The main objective of the project is the creation of a mycological reserve with a demonstrative and informative purposes as well as to guarantee the fructification of a wide fungal cortex through the application of waterings. Parallel to this main objective and taking advantage of synergies, an experimental device has been established aiming to evaluate the evolution of fungal ecosystems under climate change scenarios. Specifically, the incidence of rainfall variations on wild mushroom production is evaluated for further analysis on future climate change scenarios.
In order to formulate new regulations for updating relevant existing forest, rural and commercial legislation for the collection, certification and trade of Wild Edible Mushrooms (WEM) in Greece, an expert working group was set up in2015 by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. The experts compiled a special report which reviews and evaluates European and national legislation, investigating possible similarities, differences or gaps proposing innovating ways to boost rural economies, while ensuring their sustainable harvesting</p>
The purpose of this normative is to regulate the Wild Mycological Resources in Castilla y León. Specifically, the normative reflects the basic and appropriate measures for the conservation of wild mushroom species, their sustainable management and use, their marketing for food consumption, the promotion of knowledge, as well as the appreciation and respect for the ecological function of the mushrooms in the forest.
MERCASETAS and MERCATRUFAS are fundamentally tools for the promotion and commercialization of the mycological resource and an opportunity to approach and encourage the consumption of these products among the attending public.
MERCATRUFAS is a market for Black Truffles (Tuber melanosporum) with a mycological character, being the meeting point between the truffle grower and the final consumer, who is guaranteed about the origin and quality of all the truffles with strict quality controls.
MERCASETAS is a new concept of market of mycological products, mainly oriented to the tourism whose objective is to dynamize the commercial activity of the sector, guaranteeing the origin, the traceability and the quality of the product, promoting the agro-alimentary innovation, improving the environmental and gastronomic education of the consumer.
MICODATASIG: Territorial Information System on the production and management of mycological resources in Castilla y León region, Spain.
MicodataSIG relies on a set of protocols and technologies for the diagnosis of mycological resources aiming to implement a Territorial Information System. The goal is to provide technical information as well as disseminating to the society over the production and sustainable management of the main edible wild mushrooms in Castilla y León region, Spain.
Greece was until recently considered as a country where mushroom consumption was limited to few species per region. Mushroom were for most Greeks an occasional food, linked to poverty, the "meat of the poor", as they used to call them, that helped rural populations to survive the years of WWII. However, over the last 20 years the picture has changed dramatically as mushrooms are nowadays at the focus of a broader movement, which integrates individual research artistic-creative and entrepreneurial actions related to mushrooms to an activity with a strong social character.
The main objective of this application is to provide companies in the mycological sector with a traceability management tool for the purchase of wild mushrooms and fresh truffles from the collector or producer. To identify one more agent in the traceability of the product, by including the collector of wild mushrooms and the space where they have been collected, favoring the control systems in food safety.
This study is aimed at accelerating the onset of truffle production by avoiding weed competition around the recently planted Tuber melanosporum inoculated seedlings. By doing so reducing the labor costs, avoiding compacting the soil or loosing the organic certification of the truffle orchard.
Describe the main contents of the recent Italian fiscal law on NWFPs, approved at the end of 2018. This fiscal reform aimed to simplify the fiscal system of NWFPs pickers, in order to contrast the diffusion of the informal market, contributing to increase the transparency and support the traceability of some specific value chains.
PragueTruffle aims to diversify the tourism offer in Prague, which represents one of the most famous tourist destinations around the world. The initiative provides a truffle (species: Tuber aestivum) hunting demonstration (with a dog) in the Petřín Park, that offers one of the best views of Old Town Prague. In addition to this experience, PragueTruffle customers receive contextual information about truffles as well as about Prague history, followed by a truffle dish in a luxury restaurant with a gorgeous view of Prague. At the end, the clients can take a fresh truffle as a gift.
The main objective is the implementation of a management system for the regulation of the mycological harvesting at a regional level, in order to generate, through the mycological resource, a way of rural and local development, by promoting mycological tourism and to encourage an ordered, sustainable and compatible activity with the rest of the uses and forest harvesting.
This management system is based on the sale of picking permits of different modalities and durations, with prices that vary according to classes of permits, between 3 and 300 Euros. It also adapts to current regulations, reflected in DECREE 31/2017, of October 5, which regulates the wild mycological resource in Castilla y León.
The main objective is the promotion of wild mushrooms originating in the forest areas of Castile and León region, the incorporation of added value to labelled mycological products through the certification of qualities specified in the regulations of use and the transfer to the consumer of their food safety.
In response to the growing international curiosity about truffles we offer Black Truffle tours in Soria Spain in February, when these truffles are ripe! Our guests will meet local truffle growers, their skilled dogs, and learn all about truffle ecology. This is an invitation to explore Soria, a region rich in culinary traditions, heartfelt hospitality, spectacular natural beauty and a fascinating heritage from Celtic, Roman, Moorish, and medieval times. It offers an opportunity for cultural and scientific exchanges between truffle and mushroom enthusiasts from all over the world.
The aim of Soria Gastronomica as a gastronomic and cultural event for professionals in the hotel and catering sector, cooks, traders of food products, mushroom producers, mycologists, biologists, gastronomic press and lovers of mushroom world in general, is to share knowledge, provide updated information on any topic related to mycology, learn, teach and promote the province of Soria as one of the richest territories for its mycological production.
StarTree project: case studies of Non Wood Forest Products value chains, the Trentino Alto-Adige (Italy) regional market of mushrooms
In the Italian forest sector, NWFPs play a fundamental role. In 2011, according to an estimation reported in State of Europe’s Forests , NWFPs were worth 57% more than roundwood. However, statistics on NWFPs sector are scarce and often unreliable. This study, developed in the context of the European project "Startree", represents the first attempt to describe the hidden market related to the mushroom sector in a specific Italian region (Trentino Alto-Adige).
The Mycological Trail of Poblet has a double objective. On the one hand, the aim is to raise awareness among visitors about the mycological richness of the protected area targeting the most relevant fungal species, and on the other hand, to promote mycotourism in the area. The Mycological Trail is located in the conservation area of Poblet which is visited by thousands of mushroom pickers every autumn season.
In 2008, we installed 14 mushroom inventory plots of 100 m2 size in Pinus pinaster forests. The plots were selected to include a range of geographical features (altitude, slope, aspect) as well as variation in tree density and basal area in the conservation area of Poblet. A second set of plots were installed in 2009 paired to the first set of plots. The second set of plots was thinned removing 26 to 77% of the basal area. Mushroom yields were monitored on a weekly basis in the Autumn Season of the years 2008 to 2010 to analyze the effects of forest thinning on the yields of Lactarius delicious group.
Tuber melanosporum, the fungus that produces the priced Black Truffle, is adapted to Mediterranean droughts. Usually the production of truffles increases in years with higher precipitation. This hinted early farmers into watering the orchards to obtain better crops, but, what happens if we water too much? One of the reasons we do not find truffles in forests with abundant rains could be that in wetter conditions other fungi can outcompete T. melanosporum and displace it from the roots of the trees causing the disappearance of the fungus and the end to truffle production.
Poisoning is mostly the consequence of confusion with other edible mushroom species but, in some cases also, of poisonous species collection by people who are totally unaware of the existence of toxic mushrooms therefore not asking for specialized advice before consuming them. Several tools to reduce the number of poisoning by prevention are presented in this factsheet :
- Prevention tools deployed by ANSES (National Agency for Health Security)
- Mobile applications for mushroom recognition
Trufforum® is an international event created by the The "European Mycological Institute" (EGTC-EMI) with the aim of promoting the responsible use of the Tuber melanosporum in homes and restaurants to educate consumers on:
a) Origins of the black truffle in Europe
b) Species of edible truffles
c) The organoleptic differences between black truffles and synthetic aromas.
d) The importance of quality control to avoid fraud.
e) The most appropriate modes of use in gastronomy
f) Tourism in the European truffle territories
In 2013, an association from Périgord launched the collective brand "Cèpes du Périgord". It provides Perigordian owners with a tool to optimize quality and marketing of their production. Organized in this way, the local boletus sector also intends to fight against illegal harvesting. Producers can thus guarantee the origin and the quality of boletus through traceability and thus better meet buyers' expectations.
In the Modenese Apennine (Italy), since the interest towards traditional forest products (as firewood) is declining, also the active forest management is strongly decreasing, especially in marginal areas. In the Taro Valley, the decreased forest management is compromising the conditions required for the development of Boletus mushrooms, a product consumed and appreciated by the local population for centuries. Therefore, there is a need to find mechanisms to re-activate forest management in the area and restore the favorable environmental conditions for the development of this mushroom.
In Italy, the collection of truffles is considered a professional activity mainly for “males”. The “Lady Truffle” initiative, founded by Elisa Ioni, sales manager of a renowned Umbrian truffle company, aims to unhinge this tradition, promoting the hobby of truffle hunting among women, and, in some cases, supporting the transformation of this hobby in a real profession.