Found under cow patties in mountains near work-hard, play-hard Milan, these red, polka-dotted Amanita muscaria shrooms are plentiful. Dealers mix about 10 of the fungus in a jar of jam or the famously addictive hazelnut spread Italians consider a national treasure.
“We older consumers have eaten these mushrooms for ages, thanks to the hippies who passed down the knowledge. Nowadays mixed in with sweet stuff, the young kids go for it too,” said “Mauro” a drug dealer/factory worker interviewed in leading daily Corriere della Sera.
Though possession and sale of the mushrooms is illegal in Italy, business is booming. A jar of the psychedelic snack goes for 16€ (about $25).
Popularity of the DIY hallucinogens has increased thanks to stricter controls on discotequers drugs of choice like ecstasy, said Francesca Assisi, a toxicologist who also recently published a book outlining all the species of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the Lombardy region.
It’ll be hard to think of those famed after-school Nutella parties the same way ever again.
Image courtesy cv47al