Here I want to take a look back over the mushrooms I have been lucky enough to find in my area up until now.
Where I don’t have my own picture I have created link to wikipedia for information I will up date picture as I find them again.
The Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris) This is a good flavored and versatile mushroom, I have only ever eaten them fresh or stewed them and frozen so far. I don’t see large amounts of these anymore compared to when I was a child, there seemed to be a never ending supply of these but now are a rare treat.
Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis) These aren’t as nice in flavor as the field mushrooms, they look very similar but are bigger, have a slightly darker spore print and hold their ring a lot longer. I have only eaten these fresh but assume you could treat them same as field mushrooms.
The Prince (Agaricus augustus) This was the first time I had eaten these and I didn’t like the taste at all, it tasted like bitter almonds but they has quite a high flavor rating in most books but I think it must an acquired taste.
Saffron Milk Caps (Lactarius deliciosus) in the top right hand corner of the basket are the Saffrom milk caps I didnt take an individual picture sorry. These for a long time have been one of my favorite mushrooms but as I experience more different mushroom they are heading down my favorites list. They are a firm mushroom even after cooking almost squeeky if that makes sense! They do have their own flavor but it isn’t special compared to birch boletes (Leccinum scabrum) or shaggy ink caps (Coprinus comatus) in my opionion anyway. You have to be very gentle when picking them because they will stain blue where ever you touch them so don’t keep well if you are worried about looks but if not worried about the staining you can keep for three or four days.
Shaggy Ink Caps (Coprinus comatus) I love these if you had told me I would be eating these when I was younger I would have laugh at you Yuck!! But they are one of my favorites now, they are nice young or old I don’t care if they have started to degrade it just makes them more flavorful I recon. I haven’t preserved these in any way I’ve only eaten them fresh, I don’t think they would dry unless very young and their flesh is super delicate so I don’t think they would pickle well either but thats ok I never have enough to do any of those thing with them anyway Yum!
Brown Birch Bolete (Leccinum scabrum) So here on the left is the Cracked boletes and on the right are the Brown birch boletes. These were both amazing and for the first time I understood why people prefer these over Slippery jacks (Suillus luteus) they are so much more superior in flavor and texture but I have only seen these here once and not that close to me but I will be traveling to try to find these next season as they were just so superb!
Red Cracked Bolete (Boletus chrysenteron) See picture above.
Slippery Jack’s (Suillus luteus) Ok Slippery jack’s these are the most abundant mushroom close at hand to me and I use a lot of them they dont have what I would call a splendid flavor and the texture is a bit slimmy hence the name. I peel and dry these and this emhances their flavor and they keep well I use them in stews, omelets and stir fries etc. I also cook a few small ones fresh on the days I harvest them oh and I pickle the ones that are to small to peel just in a vinegar brine solution. I have put the ones that are to big and water logged into stews and then frozen the stew but drying is best. These are a pain in the ass to peel as they are very resiney and slimy but I think once dried they are worth the effort for sure.
Jelly Fungi (Pseudohydnum gelatinosumam) I tried these a few different ways but just don’t like them it is a shame because they are quite abundant. The best way was cooked as a sweet with honey but I still don’t like them unfortunately but don’t be scared to try them I’m sure some would like them.
Fly Agaric (Amantia muscaria) These are a bit controversial but they are edible is processed properly, they must be boiled in a LOT of water the poison in them is water soluble, I boil these for fifteen minutes change water and boil again in a LOT of water for five minutes then I vinegar pickle them and water bath for another 2o minute or so. See my other blogs, they are a pleasant mushroom with a good firm texture and nutty flavor even with all the cooking. You should not dry these as it intensifies the poison, they must be boiled! They are very abundant here and are a great resource for me. And I’m not dead yet so that is a bonus 🙂
Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda) I didn’t like these the first coupler times I tried them but now I like them strange, I just fried them and added salt and pepper.
Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepita procera) Sorry no picture, These are very nice mushroom they are very delicate and break easy so not sure if they would preserve well I’ve only eaten fresh.
Common Ink Caps (Coprinus atramentarius) Sorry no picture, I’ve only eaten these a coupler times, they weren’t bad tasting but not as nice as the Shaggy ink caps. A note these are not to be eaten with alcohol apparently it will give you a hangover like you have never had…… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprinopsis_atramentaria
Common Puff Ball (Lycoperdon perlatum) Sorry no picture, I have eaten these a coupler time you have to get them when they are young and still firmish. They taste ok but are hard to find enough of for a real meal and I’ve only eaten fresh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycoperdon_perlatum
Cauliflower Mushroom (Sparassis crispa) Sorry no picture, I only tried a little bit of this tempuraed and it was stunning, so sweet. There were only two of these plant and I can only hope they come back each year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparassis
Sheep Polypore (Albatrella ovinus) Sorry no picture, Wow this was a surprise find indeed, I was looking for slippery jack’s and I stumbled onto one, yes only one of these mushrooms but as soon as I seen it I remembered seeing it in a book so I picked it, it smelled like flowers and tasted amazing, very flowery. I looked again this year and didn’t find it but a GPS would help I’m sure, the pine forest is big. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albatrellus_ovinus
So my list in favorite order is-
- Birch boletes(Leccinum scabrum)
- Cracked bolete (Boletus chrysenteron)
- Cauliflower fungi (Sparassis crispa)
- and Sheep polypore (Albatrella ovinus)
- Shaggy ink caps (Coprinus comatus)
- and Parasols (Macrolepita procera)
- Fly agarics (Amantia muscaria)
- Slippery jack’s (Suillus luteus)
- Puff balls (Lycoperdon perlatum)
- and Saffron milk caps (Lactarius deliciosus)
So there you have it, fungi are not only a great healthy edible resource and fascinatingly intriguing they are an integral part of the life and dead cycles that allow the existence of all life on this precious planet we all share. 🙂