Boletus is my Moby-Dick

Illustration: Cristina Daniela Gagiu
Poetry: Oana Maroti

Ah, the years I was living with my grandmother in the countryside I thought everything was beautiful. The nature, the spring there surely were sublime.

As a child, I used to adventure myself in the forest and play detective, only that in my stories the idea was to search non stop for mushrooms, like searching treasures and the gold was Boletus.

After some rain showers, when the soil is humid and the wood smells like earth, I would sometimes find: Piciorul Caprioarei (Parasol mushroom) , Champignon (Agaricus), Iutari (Lactifluus piperatus) and Galbiori (Chanterelle).

Yet, my only dream then was to find Boletus.

Just observing its shape appearing at once from the immensity of forest’s details it’s a spectacle per se. Once in front of the beauty approach it, very gently, not to disturb and sniff it.

This mushroom spreads a nutty smelling delicious flavor and it’s this flavor to search for.

Boletus can make you fell deep into the hunter fever. Ah, the excitement of your whole mind and body being so crazy focused to scan just some elements in the immensity of patterns the forests measures. When you see it coming up from the leaf layer you can go home, be happy, that’s the ultimate level. He was hiding in the soil, becoming one with the leaves, growing same colors as the surface, a true chameleon and you spotted it.

Now, that I´m an adult I still go into the forest. There I refill my lungs with fresh air and if the soil is humid I walk around secretly searching for Boletus.

If I find one I just cross-section it and let it dry in the kitchen. In a few hours the nutty flavor spreads in the air and it lasts for weeks. It creates an addictive smell that hits you in the face again and again.

It’s even nice with tea, Oolong tea.

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