The Naked Mushroom Hunter
The traditional mushroom romp into the forest takes place every year on the first day of spring. This year was no exception although the cold weather did keep the numbers down. Men wearing a smile and a small hand weaved wicker basket set of into the forest in search of the first mushrooms of the season.
This year I was invited to witness and report on the event and as I watched the menâ€™s wicker baskets swing gently from side to side and their buttocks slowly disappear into the distance I couldnâ€™t help wondering, why are they doing this?. I remember thinking druids, I am sure they did something similar although not with mushrooms. Anyhow being the professional reporter that I am a got down to work and meticulously noted down every gram collected.
Mario Rossi 34g
Tulio Bianchi 33g
Luigi Verdi 32g
So there you have it, the 2007 Naked Mushroom Champion is Mario Rossi.
Lepista nuda (Bull. : Fr.) Cke. (edible)
CHINESE : Luo kou mo, Zi ding xiang mo, Zi jing mo (medicinal name).
DANISH : Violet hekseringshat.
ENGLISH : Wood blewit, Naked mushroom.
FRENCH : Pied bleu des forÃªts.
ITALIAN : Tricoloma nudo.
JAPANESE : Murasaki shimeji
SPANISH : Pie violeta.
If any of you are wondering why the men had to be naked the answer is simple, in 1050 when the event started most of the land was owned by some very rich spinsters who wanted to make mushroom hunting more fun, think of it as a sort of PorcinTopoly
Note: Although present with his full set of digital and analogue equipment Oâ€™Connor the award winning photographer has refused to publish any photos of the event, claiming that they were worth more that way.