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By The Twig - Well Seasoned, Apr 13 2015 08:00AM

Mushrooms are usually an autumnal thing. One of nature's great compensations for the Summer coming to an end is that the cooler, wetter weather provides perfect conditions for all sorts of magnificent mycellium. But it's a mistake to think that autumn is the only time of year that we can find good culinary fungi. This month sees the welcome return of St George's Mushrooms.

Named because they invariably appear around the saint's day on 23 April (in fact this year a few weeks earlier), these little creamy white beauties can be found in fields, on limestone soil, often growing in "fairy ring" circles or little clumps. They are one of the few good eating mushrooms that grow in the spring and, if you can find them, they will add a real touch of wild class to a spring chicken and mushroom pie.

It goes without saying (hopefully) that you shouldn’t be eating any kind of mushroom unless you're 100% sure of its identification and there are some very similar looking but poisonous varieties out there. So, before you even think about going foraging, arm yourself with a good field guide (there are plenty of good ones out there, so absolutely no excuses for poisoning yourself!) and keep an eye out for these fantastic fungi from now through to June.

(Find pictures and identification tips at foragingguide.co.uk).

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