Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mushroom time

Boletus edulis
When I called up one of our friends the other day, her husband answered and said, "She's scrubbing mushrooms, Julia, call back in 10!" It must have been a good weekend for mushrooms because the next day our babysitter arrived with a basketful - Boletus edulis if you'd like the Latin name, hřib in Czech, porcini in American mushroom parlance. We admired our lot and then Will diced it up and made soup.

I somehow doubt that there are stores in the States advertising their fall wares decked with fungus, but in central Europe the mushroom - in all shapes and sizes - is a definite decoration choice. And after all, why not? There is something tactile and satisfying about a mushroom. Perhaps you as window shopper conjure up its earthy nutty smell, and remember early mornings out on the hunt, shuffling through fallen autumnal leaves, collecting your free bounty from the forest. You consider the store keeper, and decide she too understands the beauty of a mushroom and if you share this understanding, you might also share the same taste in skirts, or bonbons, or whatever she is selling.

At least this is how I imagine it goes. You can window shop right here and see what you think.
fall display in Zurich window shop

4 comments:

Tommy Williams said...

I haven't seen mushrooms used to dress up presentations of items that are not food or food-related (like pots and pans). It's an interesting choice.

There's also the sense in the US that, generally, mushrooms are not something you can go and pick yourself--when you see them in the wild, you're taught to think they're poison. So most people do not have positive associations for mushrooms, especially if they're not small, sliced, and already browned in butter.

Karla said...

I'm so envious... but it's only just starting to suggest fall here (temperature dropped into the 70s from about 95) and of course hardly anyone here thinks of mushrooms anyway. But I'll have to photograph my mushroom-related decor and post it!

Julia said...

When we first moved here I thought I'd be poisoned just touching a mushroom in the forest. Amazing how views change.

Karla - let me know when you post your mushroom pics!

Karla said...

It will be up in a few minutes, a nice change from complaints about computers.