Roughly seven this evening the power went. Fifteen minutes later the man from down the road came to see if we were OK. Rubbish, he wanted a decent coffee and to escape from his wife. Less than ten minutes later somebody else came. Similar story. We have those little Italian espresso makers that come in a dozen sizes and the smaller they come, the stronger the coffee, so there we were production-line-wise with the little ones at the gas stove.
The first who turned up is a retired chef. He has worked in hotels and restaurants all over France, in England, Belgium and for a while in the USA. The other man is still a chef, he has his own place but was not opening up with no power so decided to go out for a while. He has been around too. Cruise ships, hotels and a couple of restaurants of his own.
I happened to say that walking our dogs down at the bottom of our field it smells to high heaven of fungii. They ought to come looking for them some time. So we got talking about them. We discussed the merits and demerits of different types and what to do with them. Then the older said that he did not actually like mushrooms himself. In response the other said more or less the same. Then they were talking about the fact that they do not really know people who really LIKE them. Then it moved on to both thinking that most people do not care too much for them but it is the collecting and mystique attached and all that that makes them so popular. Somehow or other there is some kind of competition to like them more than the other person although none of the people really want them at all. It was fascinating. My OH comes from the foot of the Alps in an area where Italian scavengers come by the truckload to hunt for them and the entire family does its best to get their first. They are highly prized. I make a champignon soup that the family request, so obviously like. But thinking about it I had to wonder...
Do people really like them or not? Not a life and death question but and interesting revelations from people who have made a career of cooking, including those particular vegetables.