We are in the middle of Serra de São Mamede, on the outskirts of Portalegre. No sign ff the heatwave that is felt in the rest of the Alentejo. The mild temperature, with certain humidity in the air, is perfect for those who planned to walk around all morning observing and picking mushrooms.
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We are in the middle of Serra de São Mamede, on the outskirts of Portalegre. No sign ff the heatwave that is felt in the rest of the Alentejo. The mild temperature, with certain humidity in the air, is perfect for those who planned to walk around all morning observing and picking mushrooms. It’s also perfect for these mushrooms to appear.
Pedro Marques and Nuno Alegria, from NaturBoscus, are the first to recognize that the microclimate of the mountains helps, and in what way, the proliferation of different mycological species. The chanterelles, for example, are everywhere. And there are also good porcino.
None are picked at random - Pedro and Nuno respect a series of good practices: they do not remove the mycelium, the filaments that allow the mushrooms to reproduce, maintain the soil conditions, cover the holes that remain after the harvest, and fix the mushrooms in place, leaving the non-consumable remains on the ground to create new mycelium outbreaks.
And this is because, more than selling mushrooms, they are interested in preserving this ecosystem. After all, both are passionate about territory and matter: Pedro was studying biology at the University of Évora when he joined the Mycology Nucleus. He started to develop taste and when he returned to Portalegre, his childhood friend Nuno, self-taught, joined. With Pedro Trindade, another of the partners, they have NaturBoscus, which in addition to selling mushrooms for gastronomic purposes, also works in the area of mycotourism: they organize tours in search of mushrooms that end, as a general rule, with a beautiful meal in one of the bucolic sceneries of the mountains. And that is precisely how we say goodbye.