Get Funghi host guided Funghi Forays in Derbyshire’s Peak District.
Get Funghi is owned by Bengt Saxmark and Deb Hampson. Bengt, from West Sweden, formed his lifelong interest in wild mushrooms began when he followed his dad out into the Swedish forests as a lad, and it’s still his favourite place to be. As soon as the funghi start growing, from mid April through to mid November, he’s not happy unless he’s checked at least one of his favourite spots and come home with a bag of something tasty to use in the kitchen. In 2006 he furthered his substantial personal knowledge by completing a course at Umeå University in Sweden which qualifies him as a mushroom ‘consultant’. This training is a thorough grounding in how to educate the public to go out and pick wild mushrooms they know they can then safely eat, and anyone who has been on one of Bengt’s popular fungus forays will be able to confirm that he does exactly that with gusto!
Deb, from northern England, has always loved being outdoors and foraging for nature’s bounty, so when Bengt came along he found a willing student ready to absorb as much mushroom related information as he could provide. The Swedish way is to start, as you would expect, with beginners mushrooms that can safely be picked with 100% certainty, and luckily they include some of the tastiest. Deb began her ‘apprenticeship’ picking easy to identify and very delicious Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius) and has gradually increased her repertoire over ten years of foraging with Bengt. Her favourite dried wild mushroom is the lovely Winter Chanterelle (Cantharellus Tubaeformis), a guaranteed taste sensation with all the flavour of the forest floor in a mouthful, and a little beauty to pick.