Here is a selection of various articles, past and recent, that give personal
perspectives from previous Mexican Mushroom Tours participants:
My Copper Canyon Mushroom Expedition | Hildegard Hendrickson | Full Article (MS Word - 26k)
Visiting the Copper Canyon in Mexico had been on my traveling agenda. When I saw the announcement in MUSHROOM, The Journal that a mushrooming expedition was scheduled for August 15 - 22, I signed up. My expectations about the scenery and the fungi were exceeded. Mexican's Copper Canyon is many times larger and deeper than the American Grand Canyon and, in the 7,000 to 8,000 feet elevation of the Sierra Madre, the rains had come in time to produce an abundant fruiting of fungi for us to collect.
Veracruz Mushroom Tour: August 2003 | By Cynthia David | Full Article (MS Word - 24k)
(Reprinted from the April-June 2004 issue of Mycelium, the newsletter of the Mycological Society of Toronto)
The first mushroom captured on the 2003 Veracruz Tour wasn't found in any forest, but under a palm tree in the central square of Veracruz, the lively port city where our week-long Mexican foray began. We soon learned that mushrooms in tropical climates are often small, due to the harsh extremes in climate. Our first specimen, a stalked puffball, had a stem no larger than a pin-head. As we walked through the tropical forest, we acted like kids, bringing our finds to Dr. Gaston Guzman, one of Mexico's most distinguished mycologists, for identification. "What genus is this?" became the question of the day as we collected fungi in the yellow woven baskets that Gundi had provided.
Foraging for Mushrooms in Mexico | By Mary Buttaro | Full Article (MS Word - 32k)
(Reprinted from the March 2004 issue of Food & Beverage International)
If you think foraging for exotic mushrooms is only for the experienced, think again! Join beginning forager Mary Buttaro, with experienced forager Loraine Berry, as they trek through the forests of Mexico's smallest state, Tlaxcala. In an event organized by Mexican Mushroom Tours, beginners and advanced foragers alike pick, cook and learn about native life styles that flourish under an economy that benefits from mushroom foraging. The state's natural beauty and surprising biodiversity - rolling plains, grassy meadows, cool pine and oak forests, waterfalls, and majestic mountains - offer a spectrum of outdoor pleasure. For mushroomers in particular, the temperate climate, arboreal variety, and plentiful seasonal precipitation produce spectacular foray locations. Additionally, this unique epicenter of biodiversity spawned the development of the University of Tlaxcala's Laboratory of Mycology, which is devoted to the study of Mexican fungi.
Mushrooming in Magnificent Mexico | By Margie Guyot | Full Article (MS Word - 34k)
(Reprinted from the Fall 2003 issue of Spores Illustrated, the newsletter of the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club)
After a sumptuous breakfast at the beautiful 16th Century hacienda where we stayed, we'd board a bus for a brief ride to the hunt. Oh, the lavender fields of wild cosmos! Can I pound it into you to realize how magnificent it was? Bushes of deep blue, wild morning glories hugged the roadside. And little red flowers - some kind of bean? - popped up everywhere. Acres upon acres of agave, sturdy fava beans. Just everywhere it seemed like all the farmers planted blue corn. I think I enjoyed the rides to the hunt at least as much as the actual hunts. Every day we'd visit a different slope of La Malinche, an extinct volcano covered in pine and mixed hardwoods. It rained every afternoon, so the mushies were out in profusion. You could easily fill a basket in an hour or two.
Mexico's Edible Treasures | By Nance Frank | Full Article (MS Word - 31k)
(Excerpt from Solares Hill, September 26, 2003)
Back to the mushroom expedition, the hosts Gundi and Erik, transplanted European/Canadians, have childhood mushroom memories not unlike my own, except that they originated in the charming forests of continental Europe. In every respect, they were excellent hosts... Years ago, they fell in love with Mexico and this unpopulated region, the smallest state called Tlaxcala, and built a home within two hours of some of the most spectacular fir and pine mountain vistas and mushroom woods. They arranged accommodations at centuries old haciendas with character and beauty. La Escondida, a 17th century ex-hacienda near Huamantla, had everything I could ask for: a rustic kitchen with gracious staff who prepared a traditional buffets of regional specialties and who allowed us to invade their large kitchen make extra mushroom dishes out of the plethora of edibles we collected daily.
Mexican Mushroom Magic | By Carol Hellums | Full Article (MS Word - 30k)
(Excerpt from Mycena News, newsletter of the Mycological Society of San Francisco, 12/01)
It all started in May 2001, with a terse email from Mark Thomsen... Attached was a description of a foray to be held in Mexico in late August. We sent off a few requests for more information... for what we hoped would be an exciting opportunity to experience the mushrooms of Mexico in stunning, out-of-the way locations and with expert guidance. Guess what? It was all that and more... Every day we collect baskets and baskets of mushrooms... A family in the village prepares mushroom tamales for our lunch, and that evening they come to La Escondida and serve a buffet dinner. ...our group all but licked the dishes clean... When I look back on the trip, it's hard to find a flaw. ...the setting was beautiful and exotic. The food was delicious and exotic. And everyone involved - organizers, mycologists, and group members alike - was congenial, interesting, and a whole lot of fun.
Mushrooms in the Wild | By Susan Allport | Full Article (MS Word - 58k)
(Excerpt from the New York Times, August 4, 2002)
We drove by van, then truck, up the rough, unpaved roads to the Grand Canyon, high up on La Malinche, where steep, moss-covered slopes tapered off into a dry river bed. It was mushroom heaven, with a new mushroom, it seemed, under every towering fir tree. I found my first club mushroom, which is so sweet some Mexican children eat it like candy, and a kind of peppery russula that is consumed in Mexico, but not in the United States. ...we had stopped for lunch in the small village of Javier Mina, where most of the inhabitants... collect mushrooms during the season. There, we were treated to some mixed-mushroom tamales prepared by one of the women, Doña Caridad, a friend of one of our mycologists. Granted, I have a weakness for tamales, which seem to me to be close to the perfect food, but these were especially smooth and silky, with a luscious filling of mushrooms, tomatoes and chilies.
Mushroom Hunting in Mexico | By Heny Sison | Full Article (MS Word - 22k)
(Excerpt from The Philippine Star, Manila, August 21, 2002)
You can imagine the joy and surprise I felt, in the middle of a mushroom tour in Tlaxcala, Mexico, when I came across my object of obsession once more. Those red white-speckled mushrooms that used to be just visions dancing in my head are actually real. I even had the pleasure of plucking them out from the earth. ...I happily traipsed along the slopes of La Malinche, a dormant, 4,460-meter high volcano named after Cortes' indigenous interpreter and lover... I admired the unmarred serenity of the woods, picking up mushrooms and filling my basket with these goodies... At the end oft the day, we proudly turned in our finds, and our stomachs rumbled in anticipation of the delightful mushroom dishes that were to be cooked for us.
Mexico and Mushrooms | By Anna Pleasonton | Full Article (MS Word - 23k)
(Excerpt from The Boleten, newsletter of the Gulf States Mycological Society)
...The foray sites were beautiful; the first one, a short uphill hike from the highway, was an alpine meadow with an incredible profusion of flowers in all colors, sizes, and shapes. The others were pine forests, burn areas, and an impressive canyon. From everywhere, views of valleys, mountains, and volcanoes shrouded in clouds. We did extremely well with the species collected, and ate a large part of our bounty... ...we were also privileged to hear a presentation on hallucinogenic mushrooms by Dr. Gaston Guzman - he prefers to call them sacred mushrooms - and one on research on the use of mushrooms for medicinal purposes by Dr. Francisco de Diego Calonge, director of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Madrid, Spain. The tour organizers, Gundi Jeffrey and Erik Purre, Canadian expats living in Tlaxcala, made all the arrangements to provide us with a most satisfying experience.
Mexican Mushroom Trip | By Susan Allport
(Excerpt from The News, August 3, 2002)
It will come as surprise to many that there are mushrooms in Mexico besides those that allow one to "speak to the Gods," as one authority on hallucinogens puts it, and Mexicans for whom wild mushrooms are a regular part of their diet... This little-known aspect of Mexican cuisine, culture and environment is the focus of Mexican Mushroom Tours, a two-year-old operations based in the small state of Tlaxcala, east of Mexico City, home to many of Mexico's edible mushrooms. These trips are not for everyone, but to a devoted forager and neophyte mycologist like myself, they offered the irresistible promise of new tastes in new surroundings, of honing my mushroom identification skills while scrambling up and down the foothills of volcanoes.
Gundi's Magical Mushroom Tour | By Frank Hoffman | Full Article (MS Word - 27k)
(Excerpt from Mycelium, newsletter of the Mycological Society of Toronto, Jan-March, 2001)
...we forayed on the volcano and then visited a local village to meet friends of Adriana, who works with several villages on their use of fungi. Two very charming ladies opened their homes to us, treated us to their food - red and green tamales, accompanied by fermented cactus juice - and explained their use of a sweat lodge for their personal hygiene. More foraying in the afternoon culminated in a dinner prepared by Adriana's village friends. ...local cuisine prepared over a charcoal fire, each dish featuring some type of mushroom. What an experience, what a treat! Gundi's foray began on a high note and just kept getting better. The altitude and Erik's attentiveness to our wine-glasses, along with the delicious meal, soon swept us into the arms of Morpheus. But not just yet... Simply explained, these warm and fond memories of Gundi's tour are like a fine wine - they become better every time I remember them.
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