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  • The foodhiker’s guide to the galaxy: Siberia

    porcini mushroomsWelcome to the first article in our series “The foodhiker’s guide to the galaxy“, a collection of articles that will show you what to eat in which region and why. There are many reasons out there why people love traveling, and one essential one that many travelers share is food. Although, people will always argue about what restaurants to visit, we’ll give you a slightly different look into a foodie’s view on travel.

    Let’s face it, there is no such thing as the best or the most interesting type of food. Food is about lifestyle, an occasion, an emotion. A true foodie can enjoy street food just as much as some high end 5 star restaurant. Again, it’s about how you feel, where you are and what you are doing.  In this post, we’ll present to you an amazing experience which involves a crazy experience and some amazing food that goes with it.

    Porcini Mushroom Picking in Siberia

    Porcini Mushroom picking in Siberia is something you definitely want to try one day. This one takes our top spot for activity combined with food travel. It’s a bit like hunting, but without the killing. You drive through the forest using some ancient Russian off-road van and wait patiently to see some Porcini mushrooms. Someone will be screaming “mushrooms” whenever they see some and then the driver slams the breaks; everybody jumps out and runs to grab them. It’s almost like children racing for candy, or an ancient instinct that awakens in you when you do this.

    The tricky part is that every time you find those precious mushrooms after collecting them, everybody drinks some more Vodka, and with all those mushrooms out there, everybody gets drunk in no time. It’s not the healthiest type of mushroom picking, but certainly an efficient one. Besides, you’ll enjoy some very very remote areas, nature and landscapes in Siberia which are fantastic. You’ll be driving about 2 hours to get to a remote spot like that, but then there is nothing but you, birch trees, evergreens and the mushrooms of course.

    When we went there, we had a one eyed driver who was the first one drunk of course. He was the only one who could really handle the muddy trails, maybe because he never noticed that the car was almost falling over at some 40% angle. And he never cared about getting stuck in the mud either. There were 5 of us and we found about 500 pounds of Porcini mushrooms within a few hours.

    You won’t be able to eat all the mushrooms of course, so most of them will be shared with family and friends of course, which is what Russians always do and then cook some of them fresh with some onions, butter, dill and some white wine finishing touch.

    Siberians will also pickle many of them so they don’t have to throw them all in the freezer. These are really tasty and you can keep them throughout the winter. The beauty in this is, that whichever way you want to prepare them, you’ll have the freshest ingredients and nothing can beat the feeling that you’ll have after a successful day of Siberian Mushroom Picking.

    Things to keep in mind

    Occasion: Fun & Adventure

    Price: Free. However, you’ll need a car and should really only do this with people you know

    Calories: little

    Notes: The Vodka is something that you’ll just have to go with, it’s not dangerous, as you can really only drive like 10mph in the forest and there are no other cars. After all, it is Siberia and if you want the whole experience, then you have to do it with the locals in their way. Just make sure that the driver gets a good and long rest before heading back to town.

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    [...] The Foodhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Siberia Porcini Mushroom picking in Siberia is something you definitely want to try one day. This amazing experience involves driving through the beautiful remote forests of Siberia in an ancient Russian off-road van, finding & collecting hundreds of pounds of mushrooms, drinking vodka, and of course cooking them! Read more> [...]

    [...] For your next round, you should have realized how big those “Maß” beers really are, and your body will be screaming for some substance. This is where our Foodhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy favorite kicks in perfectly, the” Schweinshaxe”, a giant alcohol neutralizer J – Yep, Germans are not just good at building cars, the invention of the Schweinshaxe could certainly worth another Nobel prize nomination. I wish the Russians would have understood that concept a bit better, when we went out mushroom picking in the forests of Siberia we only brought bread with ham and tomatoes, which certainly didn’t do the trick against all the Vodka we were drinking (Also, read our recent post about “Mushroom Picking in Siberia”). [...]

    Travelgrove Blog wrote on September 22, 2010:

    The foodhiker’s guide to the galaxy: Germany…

    Germans are known for their sausages, Sauerkraut and beer. The truth is that really only one of these can make the top of the list in the foodhiker’s guide to the galaxy. Yes … you guessed it right, “beer”. Whatever type of beer you like, you can almos…

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