Mushroom Picking in Poland

People who know me know that I adore mushrooms. I could eat different varieties of mushrooms every day and never get bored of them. One might ask, what’s so special about mushrooms? At first sight, mushrooms are just simple veggies that grow in the forest.

Wild mushrooms actually cause a lot of controversies. In Poland, where I grew up, mushrooms are basic ingredients for many traditional dishes due to the popularity of mushrooming. Everyone goes mushroom picking at least once a year to collect, dry, and pickle those lovely fungi.

Me at the age of 11 after mushroom picking in the Polish forest

Me at the age of 11 after mushroom picking in the Polish forest

Foreigners are often scared of mushroom picking because they believe it’s easy to pick a poisonous one. Well, let me tell you how easily you can recognize if your mushroom can be eaten or not. Every mushroom has a part under the cup called the hymenophore that’s either a lamella (striped) or tubes (flat).

Mushrooms with tubes are edible and those with lamella can be… except that it would be your last time 😉 However, if your mushroom is red with white dots, there is no reason to check because it’s a fly agaric – the most poisonous of all mushrooms.

Top: poisonous Bottom: edible

Top: poisonous
Bottom: edible

Every September, families in Poland go mushroom picking together. As a child, I remember standing next to the car and waiting for my parents to bring big bags of mushrooms to clean. After a successful outing, mushrooms had to be either dried or pickled, which made the whole house smell nice.

The most poisonous mushroom

The most poisonous mushroom – red with white spots

What are the most popular Polish mushroom dishes?

1. Placki ziemniaczane & kluski with mushroom sauce – Chanterelle / Porcini
Placki are potato pancakes that can be served with either goulash or mushroom sauce. The best sauce is a chanterelle (kurki) sauce that takes over every dish in Poland during the summer.kurki

2. Pierogi – traditionally with Porcini

Pierogi are well-known all over the world. Those amazing dumplings can be filled with pretty much anything, but the best combination is cabbage with onion and porcini.pierogi

3. Pickled Bay Bolete mushrooms

Pickled mushrooms are extremely popular for Christmas, therefore they have to be prepared some time in advance.


  1. Sep 21, 2014 / 3:51 am

    My next favorite Polish dish after pierogi would be kluski now 😀

    • Anna
      Sep 22, 2014 / 10:01 am

      I love kluski. Especially Silesian ones with a hole in the middle 😀

  2. Shaun
    Sep 21, 2014 / 4:52 am

    Love the picture of you as a kid! Adorable!

    Thanks for sharing

    • Anna
      Sep 22, 2014 / 10:00 am

      Aww thanks!

  3. Ewa
    Sep 22, 2014 / 9:59 am

    That’s a lot of mushroom in the picture with you!

    • Anna
      Sep 22, 2014 / 10:00 am

      It wasn’t even a lot actually. Sometimes we’ve got more than 10 big bags!

  4. Sep 26, 2014 / 12:20 am

    I know something about your mushroom addiction. I can see them every freaking day in our fridge :D!! What a cute picture of you holding some mushrooms Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!

    • Anna
      Oct 1, 2014 / 4:38 pm

      Mushrooms… mushrooms everywhere 😀 I should change the name of my blog 😀

  5. Oct 16, 2014 / 3:23 pm

    Hey, few weeks ago all my non-Polish friends laughed a lot when I published a photo on Instagram, showing my companions picking mushrooms in the woods. I didn’t realize this activity is so funny for foreigners untill this Fall. Even someone from UK was surprised. I wonder if there are different laws and customs regarding mushrooms in different parts of the World. 😉

  6. Eva
    Oct 31, 2014 / 1:08 pm

    Such a cute photo of you with the mushrooms!

    • Oct 31, 2014 / 1:11 pm

      Thanks dear!

    • Oct 31, 2014 / 3:54 pm

      Haha, you’re my idol! I thought the same thing about my post, but it seems like there are other mushroom fans!

  7. Asia
    Aug 17, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    great post! I like mushroom hunting but my foreign friends don’t get it. one thing, your rule concerning which type of mushroom is edible is not etirely correct. Easiest example for that is the rubroboletus satanas (in Polish: borowik szatański), which is flat and poisonous

    • Michael
      Oct 17, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      Not entirely true, it is bitter and it is not tasty but you cannot die by eating it, it’s not poisonous.

  8. Monica
    Oct 6, 2016 / 8:36 am

    I’m from Poland and love mushrooms too, even though I live in Australia now.

    • Oct 7, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      Mushrooms forever! <3

  9. Aug 15, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Hi Anna,

    I’m writing an article about the polish tradition of mushroom picking for my magazine Poland Today and came across your blog – I really admire how you’ve managed to travel and achieve so much at the same time.

    Love the evocative memories of mushroom picking in your childhood!

    All the best, Richard

  10. Cameron
    Dec 22, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    I simply discovered another perfect approach to ingest enchantment mushrooms it is delicious, delicate on the stomach and assimilates quicker.

    Eating mushrooms and truffles crude as they are is the most well-known to devour them. Be that as it may, while we cherish the taste, it’s unquestionably not the widely adored tidbit. Exceptionally while ingesting a bigger measurements, the taste can turn into an issue. Tea makes it simple to include nectar or whichever sweetener you pick. R

  11. Audreanna Smith
    Apr 4, 2018 / 9:34 am

    Nice post and info. I found out that some mushroom are safe and some are not I read an article and upon reading it I discover that one kind of mushroom called magic mushroom is safe and can be used in different ways like in medical purpose and some other things.I think its nice that even in mushroom we can discover a lot of things.

  12. Ed Babula
    Sep 29, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    When I was a kid my father (who came from Poland after WW2) and I constantly picked mushrooms in the fall. Sadly he died when I was 16 and being young I had other things on my mind. Now in my 60s I regret not keeping up on it and now am afraid of guessing. The 2 types we mostly picked were (pardon the spelling) mashlaki and potpinki and some were found near Elm stumps. Now that I’m retired I would love to hunt these but can’t find the English translations so I can look them up in guides. Can you help me out? They (my parents) came from the Lublin area. I also can remember many families going out for fall picnics together and picking. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    • Anna
      Sep 29, 2018 / 11:14 pm

      I know exactly which mushrooms you’re talking about. Maslaki are known in English as ‘larch boletes’ and podpinki are ‘honey fungus’. Hope this helps 🙂

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