[Get to know MEDUSA's territories] The adventure of hunting your own autumn meal - Catalonia
This article forms part of a series of publications under MEDUSA project to promote less-known natural and cultural touristic assets in our partner territories Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Puglia (Italy) and Catalonia (Spain). Enjoy reading and hope to welcome you soon at one of the wonderful places you will get to know here
Mushroom hunting, mushrooming, mushroom picking, mushroom foraging, shrooming… everybody uses a different term but everybody agrees about this: autumn in Catalonia would not be the same without mushrooms. Picking mushrooms (and of course eating them!) is one of the most exciting activities to do for Catalan families during this lovely period of the year. You can find all kinds of this earthy and savory ingredient in the woods, markets and restaurants all over Catalonia. However, as it is often said by professional “boletaires” (which is the Catalan term used for those people who makes a living from picking mushrooms), while the Champions League in football is played in the Camp Nou, the Champions League of mushrooms is undoubtedly played in La Pobla de Lillet.
La Pobla del Lillet (whose name can be translated into English as the village in the field of lilies) is a small village inhabited by less than 1,500 people, located in the northern area of Berguedà region, very near the Pyrenees mountains and the border with France. If you have the lucky chance to visit this millennial village, other than spending time in its forests filling your basket with delicious mushrooms, you cannot miss visiting the Artigues gardens. Interestingly, the famous architect Antoni Gaudí designed the gardens and the Llobregat river runs through the middle of them. Of course something you also must do is to take a picture in the typical spot of the old bridge (pont vell), which was built in the XIV century. In addition, you cannot leave la Pobla del Lillet without getting to know the Romanesque monastery of Santa Maria de Lillet, which has been renovated in various occasions since the XVIII century.
You also need to know that La Pobla de Lillet celebrates in October its main festival (to be precise, the event takes place on the first Sunday in October every year). Note that they also have a second major festival during the summer, which is called the "small major festival" (festa major petita).
Moreover, just in case you had a bad day picking mushrooms and you have to go home with a basket not as heavy as you would like, know that there is still hope for you to cook fresh mushrooms. As in many others Catalan municipalities, La Pobla del Lillet celebrates in autumn its own “mushroom fair” (fira del bolet). In this fair, you will be able to enjoy the music of its various concerts while you taste and buy all kind of mushrooms. They even celebrate a “boletaire” contest, both for adults and children!
Nevertheless, just in case you do not feel like cooking, La Pobla del Lillet and its surroundings, offers you plenty of options of restaurants to enjoy the maximum protagonist of the autumn kitchens of our country. In the neighbor village of Castellar de n’Hug, you will find La closa restaurant, which is a charming mushroom “masía” (Typical Catalan house). You will be amazed not only by the
tasty flavor of their Catalan mountain cuisine dishes, but also by their beautiful gardens.
Let’s have one last important reminder: while in Catalonia you can find over 1,500 different types of mushrooms and most of them are safe and delicious, do not forget that some may be poisonous. Therefore, if it is your first time picking up mushrooms, it is important to inform yourself about the aspect of the main kind of mushrooms that you may find, and in case of doubt, it is better to leave our mysterious friend on the ground.
Now you are ready to put on your mountain boots and come to Berguedà to hunt your own autumn meal!