Catalonia enjoys a well-known tradition for mushroom picking. The moment the autumn rains begin to fall, a huge number of people head for the woods eager to spend some time relaxing and filling their baskets with mushrooms. But caution is necessary: some species are toxic and very dangerous. Ignorance and confusion over edible varieties that look like others can often give rise to food poisoning, on occasions with a fatal outcome. The basic criterion to avoid this is to eat only those mushrooms you know you can identify without a shadow of a doubt.
There are both edible and poisonous mushrooms amongst the various species that grow in Catalan forests. Below is a list of the edible mushrooms most commonly found in Catalonia: Waxy Cap, Yellow-footed Chanterelle, Bloody Milk Cap, Saffron Milk Cap, Grey Knight, Panther Cap and Black Trumpet.
Almost all fatal episodes of poisoning are due to the Death Cap mushroom ('Amanita phalloides'), a very toxic mushroom that is quite common in the forests. There are some toxic mushrooms among the large variety of species that grow in Catalan forests. Unfortunately, when the mushroom season arrives accidents occur, some even fatal, as the result of consuming toxic mushrooms. The following is a list of the most common toxic mushrooms in Catalonia, together with the edible species with which they are often confused.