Yet another one of France’s most sacred culinary traditions is wild mushroom picking. In fact, mushroom picking in France is a highly regulated and competitive endeavor, guided by laws and/or commonly accepted social norms.
Some mushroom-related laws:
- Mushrooms belong to the owner of the land on which they grow (Article 547, French Civil Code)
- If such land is public, a law passed in 1989 gives the prefecture power to regulate wild mushroom picking. This may include a per-person limit, certain days when picking is allowed, or a complete ban on mushroom picking due to environmental factors.
- Mushrooms must meet specific size requirements to be picked, based on variety
- The only tool allowed in mushroom picking is a knife, which must be used to cut the mushroom off from its roots in order to preserve them for growing future mushroom generations
- Mushrooms collected must be carried in a wicker basket to allow spores to fall through and grow new mushrooms