When summer comes to an end and the colours of nature change, a wonderful new season arrives in Namdalen. The colourful autumn. Autumn in Namdalen means that once again you can pick mushrooms and berries in nature, harvesting produce from nature’s own pantry. Here you will find chanterelles and porcini, cloudberries, blueberries and lingonberries. The Norwegian “right to roam” gives you the right to harvest berries, mushrooms, flowers and herbs (for your own use) in all uncultivated lands in Norway.
Bringing along a basket for mushroom picking while walking can be a great experience for the whole family. After a few hours of walking and picking there are few things better than the taste of campfire fried mushrooms. Tasty Norwegian mushrooms are popular to serve with venison, moose and reindeer with a side of root vegetables, or in stews.
The best places for mushroom picking tend to be on woodland with spruce, birch and pine trees. At the foot of the trees and in areas with shade you will often find mushroom. Local residents often find their favourite places and pick mushrooms there every year.
Chanterelle and porcini are most common in Namdalen. Never pick mushrooms you are not sure of, as many mushrooms are poisonous. Read about edible and poisonous mushrooms in Norway on soppkontroll.no. Bring a book on mushrooms, a basket and a knife on your trip.
Cloudberries, blueberries, lingonberries
In late summer/early autumn there are a lot of cloudberries in Namdalen, from the coast to the highland mountains along the Swedish border. Cloudberries are orange, unique to the northernmost parts of Europe and often called “Arctic gold”. The grand marshland areas in Lierne, Røyrvik and Namsskogan offer some of the best cloudberry areas. When cloudberries ripen depends on the weather during the summer. Before they ripen the berries are bright red. If temperatures are warm you can pick them from early July, and if it is a cooler year they may not ripen until the middle of August. Ripe cloudberries are a golden orange colour, if they are yellow or very light in colour they are overripe. Bring a bucket for your berries and remember to wear waterproof shoes (hiking boots or rubber boots), since the marshlands can be wet.
Wild blueberries and lingonberries thrive in heather and open forest areas. Wild blueberries in Norway are blue with short red stems, on plants with green leaves which often have red spots or tints. The pulp is blue and red, and often stain your fingers. In similar areas as the blueberry you may find bog bilberry. Bog bilberry looks similar to blueberries but grow on plants with green only leaves. The bog bilberry is pale green/blank inside, with no colour on the pulp. You can of course eat both blueberries and the bog bilberry, though blueberries tend to have a sweeter and richer taste.
Lingonberry, sometimes known as foxberry or mountain cranberry, grows on a short evergreen shrub. The berries are bright red when ripe. Lingonberry can be tart and sour with a little sweetness. Lingonberry jam is often served with traditional moose, reindeer and venison dishes.
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