It is easy for experienced collectors to distinguish poisonous mushrooms from edible ones. Beginners, on the other hand, can hardly tell many varieties apart, so they are recommended to only harvest boletes: they have no lamellae on the underside, but a kind of spongy structure - an important indication of non-toxic edible mushrooms. Nevertheless, caution is advised, because boulders also have poisonous doubles. No matter how knowledgeable you are about mycology, don't pull a single specimen out of the ground. Because the root networks are essential for a healthy ecosystem. "As microscopically thin cell threads, they run through the soil, wood and other substrates. In doing so, they convert organic matter into inorganic nutrients that are available to plants," explains the German Society for Mycology. For this reason, you should only harvest the fruiting bodies on the surface. Best with a mushroom knife.
In contrast to an ordinary pocket knife, which could undoubtedly also be used for harvesting, a mushroom knife has two decisive advantages: On the one hand, it has a curved blade with which the fruit body can be cut off precisely and close to the ground. On the other hand, there are fine bristles at the lower end, with which coarse dirt can be removed from the mushrooms on site. In the following we will show you how the common models (minimal) differ from each other.
1. Oramics Mushroom Knife
This 65 gram light wooden mushroom knife has a six centimeter long stainless steel blade that is slightly curved. There is a serrated saw pattern on the back of the blade to remove coarse soil residue from the fruiting bodies. In addition, the knife has a fine mushroom brush at the lower end. An additional storage bag is included in the delivery.
2. Pilzmesser von Opinel
French brand Opinel has also launched its own mushroom knife. It has a special Virobloc security ring that locks the eight-centimetre-long, curved blade (with a slightly serrated spine) when it is closed – and blocks it when it is open. There is also a brush made of natural bristles at the end of this knife.
3. Jobukam mushroom knife
This mushroom knife also has the same properties as its predecessors. However, the look is a bit more noble, which is due to the fine wood grain of the handle and the higher proportion of stainless steel. The 5.3 centimeter blade made of stainless steel is equipped without a sawmill on the back. According to the manufacturer, the knife is delivered in a beautiful box.
4. Mushroom Knife by Mercury
This olive wood handle has a centimeter printed on it, which makes it easier to determine the size of mushrooms. The seven centimeter long blade is also slightly curved on this pocket knife, and there is also a small brush on the handle. In addition, small tweezers are hidden at the end of the handle, which can be used when collecting.
According to the German Society for Mycology, there are a few important basic rules to follow when picking mushrooms - not only to protect nature, but also for the sake of your own health. They are as follows:
To find out how well a mushroom knife works in practice, we tested this handy model from Oramics. On our search for edible boletus, we found what we were looking for in the Sachsenwald - even if we were only able to discover a few chestnuts. To harvest the mushrooms, we unfolded the knife and cut off the stems low to the ground with the curved blade. It actually worked flawlessly. And the brush at the end of the handle also proved to be very useful for carefully removing coarse dirt from the handles. The handling was therefore very easy and the use was a complete success. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that an ordinary pocket knife (apart from the curved blade and missing brush) would probably serve the same purpose. By far the most important point is and remains that the boletes should not be torn out of the ground, but carefully cut off. Whether with a mushroom knife or another sharp object.
Source: German Society for Mycology
This article contains so-called affiliate links. There is more information here.