Feeds

Need an internet antidote? Try magic mushrooms

Reg hack goes in search of the elusive food of emperors

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.