Traditional roots with a modern twist:
Welcome to Catalonia’s modern mushroom culture! Known by the Catalan term “bolet,” mushrooms are a big deal in Barcelona. While the modern obsession with bolets is both wonderful and weird, spawning T.V. shows and mushroom hunting apps. Their popularity in the region traces back centuries and are a very traditional part of the culinary culture in Barcelona.
Fans of fungi:
Catalans have been foraging for wild mushrooms in the tucked away forests around the Pyrenees for many years, now it is a cultural tradition. Families venture out together armed with baskets and generations of knowledge to seek out the most delicious fungi.
Preserved mushrooms can be found in many different forms and are just as popular as fresh mushrooms. They can be quickly blanched and jarred or dried before being ground into a powder which can be used as an earthy dry rub for meats or added like a spice to dishes. The region has a love affair with bolets in any form.
Nowadays, the popular T.V. series, “Caçadors de Bolets” or “Mushroom Hunters” has a wide following in Spain along with its very own mushroom app. This app is not the only one either, there are countless other bolet apps that help novice mushroom fans seek out the best places to forage, buy, and eat bolets.
Through these apps or even by hiring a mushroom foraging guide, it is possible for anyone: tourist or local to engage in the mushroom hunting culture and enjoy the forests of Catalonia. If you don’t mind an hour and a half drive, the most popular and scenic regions to visit for these adventures is further north outside of Barcelona in the Berguedà or Osona regions of Catalonia.
If you do decide to venture out into the forests or the markets of Catalonia there are a host of different mushroom varieties, be it the slimy-looking Llanegas, stout Ceps, or frilly Camagrocs, there are plenty to choose from. One now-famous mushroom shop that has long been established as an authority on mushrooms is Bolets Petràs located in La Boqueria market on Las Ramblas. This is a great place visit if you want to see some of the local varieties pictured below or learn more about mushrooms.
Local varieties to keep an eye out for:
Getting outside or going to the markets is a great way to get to know the region and its culture, but we completely understand if you are more interested in eating these mushrooms. Delicious food is one of our favorite things too! We strongly encourage you to head to the local restaurants to taste some fantastic bolet creations, no dirt necessary.
For more information on restaurants, check out these website’s lists of the best places for mushrooms in Barcelona:
If you would like more information about where you should go according to your tastes, check out our Where to Go in Spain According to Your Tastebuds guide in order to see where your taste pallet would best be served.