Deep North Episode 47: Mycological Magic

mushroom foraging iceland

On a grey afternoon in late August, a small crowd has gathered near the old hydroelectric power station in Elliðaárdalur, a nature area near the capital. Helena Marta Stefánsdóttir, a specialist in the Forestry Service, has prepared a lecture on mushroom foraging 101 for the amateur mycologists gathered here. But it seems to be the first day of fall and as the wind picks up, a drizzle slowly grows into a light shower. The children are getting restless, and it’s only through their low murmur that I’m able to pick up fragments of tips. Never eat the ones that… Usually, a white mushroom will… I’m not exactly reassured, but everything is getting damp and we head off for the cover of the woods to continue our search.

Read the story here.

Mycological Magic

guðríður gyða eyjólfsdóttir

On a grey afternoon in late August, a small crowd has gathered near the old hydroelectric power station in Elliðaárdalur, a nature area near the capital. Helena Marta Stefánsdóttir, a specialist in the Forestry Service, has prepared a lecture on mushroom foraging 101 for the amateur mycologists gathered here. But it seems to be the […]

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Eleven Tonnes of Mushrooms Per Week Not Enough for Icelanders

Iceland’s sole mushroom farmer produces 11 tonnes of mushrooms per week, but this is still not enough to meet domestic demand for the tasty fungi. Vísir reports that the popularity of keto and vegan diets among Icelanders has led to dramatic increase in the consumption of locally grown mushrooms.

Flúðasveppir (‘Flúðir Mushrooms,’ named for the region in South Iceland in which they are located) is an established company that grows three varieties of mushroom: white, brown chestnut, and portobello. It employs 30 inviduals.

“Yes, there’s a health wave,” remarked owner Georg Ottósson. “We’re well-suited for vegan [diets] and keto as well, such that we’re in fashion right now. It’s fun to be in fashion, because it creates a foundation on which to produce good products that sell well.”

Georg says that there are plans to expand the facilities in Flúðir so that the company will be able to produce enough mushrooms to meet domestic demand.