The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Location
Doubtless widespread, but particularly prized in the Shire
Species
Probably Agaricus bisporus1
Culture
Notably associated with the Shire-hobbits
Meaning
Uncertain2

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About this entry:

  • Updated 13 February 2019
  • This entry is complete

Mushrooms

"Hobbits have a passion for mushrooms, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People."
The Fellowship of the Ring I 5 A Conspiracy Unmasked

A tasty kind of edible fungus, and a particular favourite of the Hobbits. In the Shire, it seems those that grew in the boggy region of the Marish were the most prized. Farmer Maggot grew them in his fields, and in The Lord of the Rings Frodo remembers stealing mushrooms from Maggot's fields as a child. He revisited the same farm years later, and Old Maggot and his wife gave Frodo a parting gift - a basket of mushrooms.


Notes

1

There are literally thousands of species of mushroom, and at least several dozen of those are commonly eaten, so in principle the mushrooms found growing in the Marish of the Shire - the only ones specifically identified in Middle-earth - might have been any of numerous kinds. In practice, the common mushroom or white mushroom Agaricus bisporus is by far the most commonly eaten species, and this was probably the kind that Mrs. Maggot prepared for Frodo Baggins as he left the Shire.

2

Opinions are divided on the origins of the word 'mushroom'. Some sources connect it with Old French mousse, so the original 'mushroom' would have been a fungus growing in a mossy or boggy area. Others prefer a connection to Latin mussirionem, a word of unknown origin.

See also...

Bamfurlong, Mrs. Maggot

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 13 February 2019
  • This entry is complete

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