'Tis currently the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness here in Denmark. Misty - well, very damp and dewey - in the mornings, so remember to keep a cloth handy for wiping down your bike seat...
Fruitful because, whenever my back is turned, our two apple trees dump their booty on the lawn.
Danish kids are starting to collect chestnuts (Don't know what to do with them? Here are some ideas!) and the world and his Danish wife are swapping the beach for walks in the forest. Several friends have posted pictures on facebook of their mushroom spoils, so I was delighted when I found several different types of toadstool on Saturday morning. Don't worry - we didn't eat or pick them. They all seemed to be hallucinogenic and/or highly deadly... But beauties all the same!
But I digress! (Ladies: smelling salts at the ready!) Anyway, I suddenly got a whiff of what can only be described as sewage or rotting carcass. And spied this, towering out of the ground... What on earth?! 8-O
"Ah ha!" exclaimed DDH (Dear Danish Husband). "You've found Præstens Pik!" Which, excuse my French, translates as "the Priest's Dick" or "the Priest's Penis". I thought he was making it up but, no, that's what those crazy Danes call it. The latin name is phallus impudicus, and it's a variety of "stinksvamp" ("smelly mushroom" or stinkhorn). Now, I got the reference to the shape but asked hubby why on earth the poor priest had to be involved? "Well, you see, it doesn't get used and is in a state of decay..." Ugh, wish I'd never asked!
And the end of the story? Turns out it's the only mushroom I found that isn't poisonous.
And it's edible. Velbekommen! :P