Feeds

Need an internet antidote? Try magic mushrooms

Reg hack goes in search of the elusive food of emperors

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Picture special Autumn has wrapped its frosty claws around the Special Project Bureau's Spanish mountaintop headquarters, and as we prepare to hunker down for the winter, there's a final opportunity to spend some quality time away from the internet, and stock the larder with nature's bounteous harvest.

This year's cornucopia verily runneth over with bumper crops of spuds and apples, and as ever we are entertained by the distant sound of ox carts laden with sweet chestnuts groaning their way to market.

In fact, so prolific is the chestnut that it's convenient to measure stocks in metric tonnes rather than kilos. The novelty of them roasting on an open fire soon wears off after the first 500kg, and this year I have accordingly dedicated myself to an altogether more exotic fruit: the edible mushroom.

Back in April, I managed to survive on just £1 a day for the "Live Below the Line" challenge. As part of this, I foraged a couple of field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris), which went a long way to supplementing a meagre diet of chickpea stew, rice and tea.

Little did I know it, but this modest find marked my induction into the Spanish national sport of mushroom picking, and the annual autumnal mycological mass hysteria known as "mushroom madness".

Every year, armies of locals swelled by overexcited outsiders fan out across the countryside in search of bounty, regrouping in bars to compare their baskets of setas and recount legendary tales of mushrooms so vast entire herds of cows might shelter beneath their capacious caps.

While I was quite happy to get my laughing gear around a plate of mushrooms, one incident convinced me never to succumb to the madness. A middle-aged female visitor from Madrid, perched on a bar stool and having just enjoyed a pincho (small plate) of the prized Boletus edulis, was so overwhelmed by the experience that she began to spout "setas setas, yadda yadda, setas, yadda, setas setas setas, yadda, setas setas setas setas, yadda, setas setas setas setas setas" until cerebral oxygen starvation provoked a nasty fall from from the stool, followed by paramedic and air ambulance intervention.

Actually, I made that last bit up. She was treated at the scene with antihysteriamine injections and within an hour was back out with her basket, intoning "setas setas setas" as she disappeared into the bosky distance.

And when it comes to bosky expanses, we got 'em in trumps. The terrain around the village features oaks...

Oaks close to the village

...pines...

A pine grove in the village

...and chestnuts...

Chestnut grove just outside the village

...although our own particular corner of the world wasn't considered fertile mushroom ground, until now.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.