We are organizing this Science to Practice event in order to introduce the public of Ioannina city (in Greece) to the fascinating world of mushrooms. Our collaborators in this effort are The Troufa Club, a small community/group of people with a common interest in truffles operating in Epirus since 2012, and the Association of Mushroom Friends of Epirus founded in 2007, which has been organizing many events for the public, including its annual celebration every June at the facilities of PALACE (University of Ioannina-Labriadios Research Station) in Ano Pedina, Zagori.
The event is supported by the Gastronomy Department of the Institute of Vocational Training IEK DELTA 360º. IEK DELTA 360º is the first IEK to introduce and operate the specialty of 'Technical Culinary Art' in post-secondary education. For 21 years it has been the leading cooking school in Greece, having drawn up a high level curriculum.
This event is addressed to mushroom pickers, truffle hunters, food and catering businesses, members of the wider public interested in edible mushrooms.
In recent years more and more people are visiting the forests and meadows of Greece in order to collect mushrooms. In the past Greeks would collect 2-3 species most regions, but today they fill their baskets with many species and their vocabulary with new words: Caesar's mushrooms (Amanita caesarea), ceps (Boletus edulis, Boletus aereus), chanterelles (Cantharellus spp.), saffron milk caps (Lactarius deliciosus) and morels (Morchella spp.), common species that nowadays are collected in the country, have entered Greek cuisine and are served in many restaurants. In fact, it can be said that during the last 20 years “mycophilia” is growing rapidly in Greece, which, like other European countries, has been seen as “mycophobic” in the past. Nine mushroom associations (8 local/regional and one national) now exist in the country, with thousands of members and which organize training seminars, forest excursions, publications, events and gastronomic demonstrations.