February 2020 Mycoscope
Indigo Milky
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Since our March 26 introduction to Wild mushrooms of Quebec is already full, why not join us for a similar fun-filled evening on April 30?

Here are a few mushroom-hunting excursions that could fit in your calendar:

  • May 23 in the Lower Laurentians
  • July 26 and August 23 in The Eastern Townships
  • August 9 and 15 in the Lower Laurentians

Other dates and destinations (all within a radius of 100 km from Montreal) will be announced throughout the Summer.

The winter festival Montréal en Lumière, is approaching. On February 22 from 6 to 8 p.m., during La Nuit gourmande, Mycoboutique will showcase maple mushroom cotton candy, hot Chocochaga and truffle popcorn. Come on by!



In 2010, Michele Genest, a culinary writer based in Whitehorse, Yukon, published The Boreal Gourmet, followed in 2014 by The Boreal Feast, featuring a panoply of recipes combining ingredients from northern forests: morels, birch syrup, coho salmon, spruce tips, blueberries... And how about morel-crusted bison short ribs? Both bestsellers are available here.

Peter Handke, 2019 Nobel Prize winner in literature, is a fabulous Austrian story-teller. His Essai sur le fou des champignons has just been translated from German to French. Soon to be available in English for sure, this is a touching story of a childhood friend of the narrator who becomes obsessed with foraging mushrooms to the point of being engulfed (forever?) in a war-time mine hole while in his tireless quest.



We are seeing more and more materials made of mushroom mycelium. The mycelium multiplies as soon as the right conditions are met: temperature, humidity, food (sawdust, for example), and oxygen.

In a mold, mycelium expands to the desired form: padding, furniture, ultra-light and strong building blocks. Plus, transport is easy since the objects can be "grown" once on the building site. Thanks to NASA's Mycoarchitecture program, housing on Mars may be made of mushrooms.

There is one caveat: the lack of oxygen on mars for mushrooms to breathe. The solution? Covering sawdust in cyanobacteria naturally producing oxygen by photosynthesis.



The indigo milky (Lactarius indigo) is a fair edible, becoming slightly acrid with age. It is rather scarce in the forest, but its dazzling coloring does not escape even the absent-minded hiker. A great find on an excursion!

This beautiful milky is also interesting for an unexpected reason: free radicals research. Free radicals are unstable molecules found naturally in our bodies. When they are in excess, they are suspected of causing aging of the skin, possibly even degenerative diseases and cancers.

Researchers at the U.K.’s University of Bath have just discovered that the azulene in indigo milky mushrooms can help monitor the effects of free radicals. Molecules have been developed from azulene that deeply penetrate tissues and become fluorescent on contact with radicals. Indigo lighting.


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