Czechs love mushroom picking. Perhaps nowhere in the world do people devote so much time to this activity, combing the country’s coniferous forests to fill their baskets with a wide variety of mushrooms, which are either consumed or dried for the winter months.
Czechs excel at recognizing various fungi species, something that is passed on from generation to generation. The popularity of mushroom picking is also documented by the fact that the Czech Mycological Society dates back 100 years. One of its founders František Smotlacha contributed greatly to promoting mushroom picking and making it a safe hobby. Together with academic Bohumil Němec, they started publishing a magazine for mushroom enthusiasts and created an Atlas of Edible and Inedible Mushrooms, a kind of “bible” for all mushroom pickers. Today there is also a new mobile application available, providing a digital guide to local fungi.
The Czech Mycological Society operates in more than 40 places in the Czech Republic, runs counselling centres and organizes lectures and mushroom exhibitions for the public.