Eating dangerously

After Brother Nathan’s recent mushroom movie, the first touches of fall-like weather, and frequent rain, I decided to go in search of edible mushrooms. Last year we saw many types growing in the yard, and in the park nearby. I really like mushrooms, both to eat, and just the odd apeal of an otherworldly shape, smell, and general biology.

Promising beauty

We had a nice rain today, which brought rainbows, and when it was done, I headed out in search of fungus, specifically puffballs. In the fungus world, everything is strange. There are slimes, hard shelf fungus, the destroying angel and death-cap, both of which will destroy your liver, ultimately killing you, and then there is the giant puffball, which can grow to be a meter wide. That is OVER THREE FEET of white fungus flesh! And that is all flesh that can be cooked and eaten, if you can find one that is still young. Well, I did. It was not as big as some, but it was still an awful lot of fungus.

Edible softball

I know of a few places to look, and the first pile of rotting vegitation was host to this nice growth.

My slice

I cut it in half, and it sliced with a feel of rubber butter.

Sliced moon

And then I sliced some more.

Fried fungus!

It was after dinner, so I was not actually hungry for a large portion, but I cooked some in an olive oil and wine sauce, and the rest I dipped in egg, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried. The flavor was slightly sweet, and although it still tasted like mushroom, it was very mild. It has a light fennel or licorice scent and flavor, but it was not at all unpleasant.

I did save half to cook with the kids tomorrow, but I wanted to eat some ahead of time, in case it brought on some discomfort, or worse. So far so good! I am looking forward to hunting for more with Brother Peter, now that I know they are safe, and tasty.

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9 thoughts on “Eating dangerously”

  1. Yep! All the info that I found said, if they are big, and are pure white inside, you can be pretty darn sure they are safe. I will let you know how I feel tomorrow…

  2. I have grown up hearing of how my father’s father loved to eat them, and staring at the 12″+ ones that grow on the farm, just wondering. Yet my father said he never ate them, and grandma doesn’t remember how she cooked them for grandpa. Dad thought it was maybe just sliced and fried in butter, or eaten on a sandwich! Now that I have land on which to find all these fun treasures, I’m going to have to start eating the stuff growing everywhere. I’m planning on starting by picking some roots of the chiccory I see everywhere…

  3. Most guides say something about waiting 48 hours after eating to be sure there is no reaction. Just the idea of eating a wild mushroom makes my stomach a little uneasy, but I will post here if it takes a turn for the worse. I admit that my stomach is feeling a little odd, but if I think about it, there are lots of questionable things that I have been eating besides wild mushrooms. Let’s see, fermented meusli with kefir that from grains that were sitting for over 6 months with wild black rassberries that may not have been washed all that well…

  4. Just to be clear, the puffball may be edible, but really does not have much flavor. The kids did not care for it, and I may not cook one again, unless I find myself throwing a forage party…

  5. Maybe a culinary letdown, but lots of fun to enjoy the faraging adventure with you– thanks for such an interesting post! Also, I love the photos of your family…

  6. The puffball is said to be pretty much flavorless, so it sounds like you were on the right track with your findings. I can see seasonings bringing something to it though. Mushrooms are one of the most flavor absorbent things you can cook with. Or what about mixing it with a really flavorful one like shitake. Truffle oil can be drizzled for that meaty “umami” element.

    I had also found some smaller puffball shrooms in my yard. Before getting rid of them from the fridge I tasted them raw and they did taste mushroomy and mild. They were starting to go spongey on the outside, so I just tried some interior flesh. Maybe slightly bitter, but okay…

  7. I ran over some non-editable ones with the lawn mower earlier on this year. Blacky-grey powder everywhere. Had to vacate.

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