The arrival of the first Bulgarian chanterelles marks the start of this year's wild mushroom season. "We obtain our chanterelles mainly through partners at the Munich wholesale market, where the first batches of the season have already been offered for one to two weeks now. The price of the first, early goods is still okay, but demand is very modest," says Tobias Schwaighofer, buyer and seller of the eponymous company.
The company, which was founded in 1926 and is based in Wals-Siezenheim, right on the German-Austrian border, is mainly dedicated to supplying the catering and hotel trade in the Salzburger Land, Styria and Upper Austria. Schwaighofer: "The importance of chanterelles in Austrian gastronomy is still high. As a regional wholesaler, we also strive to offer local wild mushrooms in high summer, for example from Styria or Carinthia, but this has tended to become more difficult due to the drought in recent years. The same applies to imported goods, which is why there was very little available last year, which was then offered at correspondingly high prices."
Parallel to the start of the season for chanterelles, it was also possible to trade the first porcini mushrooms from Bulgaria. "However, these are very small quantities," Schwaighofer said. "Porcini mushrooms are offered almost all year round these days, with countries such as South Africa and Morocco contributing as well. Nevertheless, marketing is mainly concentrated in the fall, meaning that sales usually really take off from September onward."
Difficult stone fruit campaign expected
Asparagus and stone fruit now dominate the company's offerings. Schwaighofer is also getting the alarming news on weather extremes in (southern) Spain and Italy. "The influences on the supply situation for stone fruits will become apparent in the coming weeks," he says, pointing to the consequences of climate change regarding domestic apricot cultivation. "As a result of frost and hail, Austrian apricot growers have repeatedly suffered severe yield losses in recent years. Additionally, a significant part of the volume is now no longer marketed to wholesalers, but directly from the farm. Accordingly, we are increasingly dependent on imported goods, whether from France, Italy or Hungary," Schwaighofer concludes.
Images: Schwaighofer Ltd.
For more information:
Wolfgang Schwaighofer GmbH
T: 0 66 2/83 42 20
F: 0 66 2/83 42 20-8