A delicacy that can lead to liver damage, reproductive problems – and maybe even cancer.
It’s high season for the steinmurk clan, which, despite its poison, is sold legally in Swedish stores.
– You can be acutely poisoned, warns mushroom fan Alexander Hult.
The mushroom, which for beginners can be easily confused with top morel, is a common ingredient in, for example, sauce, but if it is prepared in the wrong way – or eaten completely raw – it can have dire consequences. Symptoms usually appear after five to eight hours.
Stenmurkla contains a poison called gyromitrin, which can cause nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
According to the poison center, the nervous system can also be damaged, whereupon dizziness, dullness and double vision can occur. In some cases, the poison can also cause the disintegration of red blood cells, liver and kidney damage and affect reproduction.
– There have also been animal experiments where carcinogenic substances have been noticed, says Alexander Hult, a mushroom fan.
The Swedish Food Agency advises against – but allows
At the same time, stone murkla is common in some recipes and many people Alexander talks to say they ate it growing up.
– Before, you didn’t know. Then it was thought that you could boil off, or soak the stone mortar, and that the poison would disappear. But with new science, we know that it does not completely disappear from the fungus, he says.
On its website advises against The Swedish Food Agency from eating the stone wall, but despite the danger of the toadstool, it is allowed to sell it in Sweden. In stores, the mushroom is sold in canned form.
“Stenmurkla may be sold, but only if it is fermented according to accepted methods, with fermentation in several different stages. For cooks who often cook stew or sauce from fresh or dried morels, the steam can be a work environment problem,” writes the Swedish Food Agency.
The National Association of Mushroom Consultants is of the opinion that the stone wall clan should be banned from selling – and in a letter has also been urged sustainability and purchasing managers at Coop, Ica and Axfood remove it from their range.
“Should be banned”
Alexander Hult is of the same opinion.
– I think it should be banned in Sweden, many other countries have done it. I think it’s strange when you know it’s poisonous. It is also for the sake of the chefs. They can get sick from the steam during the fermentation, he says.
At the same time, there are many mushroom beginners who do not understand the dangers of the stone wall clan.
– I usually search for mushrooms on Marketplace on Facebook and have seen that there are those who sell stone morels. Then I contacted them and explained what really applies. There are many who do not know what the rules are, says Alexander.
The 27-year-old got his interest in mushrooms as a child, but it exploded in 2021 when he discovered a completely new kind of mushroom in Iceland. Lactarius fennoscandicus is now officially called Sólarlagshringlekta, in Icelandic.