The Magical World of Mushrooms
At Foras, we love nature. What’s more beautiful than a walk in a misty forest or on the beach on a warm day?
Let us tell you more about one of the most interesting things that you can encounter on a walk... mushrooms! Mushrooms are simply amazing. Did you know that they breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, just like us? Fungi are in a kingdom of their own.
Unlike plants, they don’t produce energy from the sun in the process of photosynthesis; taking in consideration all the similarities between species, fungi are closer to humans than to plants. What we call a “mushroom” is actually the fruiting body of the vegetative part of a fungus called mycelium and forms only around 5% of the mass of the whole organism. The largest known organism on earth is a honey fungus in Oregon with 2.4 miles in diameter - can you imagine that?
Mushrooms are widely featured in literature starting as early as the 13th century. Fairy rings, a naturally occurring circle of mushrooms, have a prominent place in the European folklore. Many legends describe the dire consequences of entering such ring - mortals that do so might find it impossible to leave it and be forced by fairies to dance until exhaustion or death. In Mayan culture, the trance-inducing properties of mushrooms were important, and in the Japanese culture, mushrooms are often associated with prosperity.
Mushrooms have many properties that make them stand out among other organisms. They can be used for dyeing natural textiles and all colors of the spectrum can be made using mushroom dyes. Over 200 species are thought to be hallucinogenic and over 75 species are bioluminescent. Many of the species are poisonous so it’s important to be able to identify well different species of mushrooms before picking them. The good news is that over 350 species are edible so you will never grow bored of eating mushroom. Mushrooms are incredibly healthy too. Many of the mushroom species have a high level of anti-oxidants and one Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana. They also contain a lot of vitamin D. Speaking of eating mushroom, did you know that they contain the fifth primary taste called umami? Umami is often described as full, filling, meaty and it can also be found in soy sauce.
When it comes to mushroom smells, you will probably think about this particular, slightly acidic smell. But mushrooms can have a very pleasant smell too, starting with healthy, earthy fragrance. Golden Chanterelle has a fruity odour similar to this of apricots and the Black Trumpet smells of fresh fruit. Miller Mushroom has a particular watermelon-like smell and Lactarius hibbardae oozes coconut! Cortinarius hercynicus brings cedar wood to mind. Some mushrooms can even smell of marzipan!
Inspired by the richness of the mushroom smells, we have decided to create a fragrance that makes you think of a walk in a misty woodland full of mushroom. “Mushroom Forest” is our newest eau de parfum which features notes of earth, mushrooms, mossy woods, crab apple and wild berries. We are so excited to show it to you! It will soon be available online and in our store in Folkestone (11 Church Street). So why not come for a sniff? We are open Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm and 12-6pm on Sundays. See you there!