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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hunt a lot of wild edible mushrooms. They are tasty, diverse, and fun to look for. I've found that nearly any month of the year I can go in the woods and find something to eat. Mushroom hunting can be dangerous if you don't know what your doing. I'd suggest going to a mycology meeting thats local to your area. Or with someone who already has mushroom hunting experience there are many helpful books on the subject. Never eat anything your not 100% sure of.



Morels can be found in typically in spring, they are quite tasty and highly coveted. they grow in a variety of types of climates and environments. They are one of the easiest mushrooms to accurately identify. They dry and keep well for years.


Chanterelles are a late summer/fall mushroom.





They have a wonderful apricot smell and go great with a variety of dishes.
they don't dry quite as well as morels, but they can be dry sauteed and frozen for later use.

continued-
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·


This is a king bolete, (aka cepe, porcini) they are both found in spring and fall in different areas. Wonderful smell and flavor, these will dry beautifully for later use.



This is called a chicken of the woods... great flavor.. meaty texture... a great meal.



There are numerous edible mushrooms with a variety of flavors and textures. they make great meals and additions to meals. Many will store wonderfully for later use. When dried they will last a number of years.

Of course just as with edible plants, if you aren't 100% sure of what you have, don't eat it. And don't use the photos above as reference if you are contemplating eating something. You don't want to die from eating something poisonous, because some guy you don't know on the internet said it was O.K. do you?

Mushrooming is a fun and inexpensive hobby. (except for the fuel to get to your spots) I've often picked 10-20 pounds in a day... I know others who pick 50-100 pounds... thats a lot of food.

Certainly not a bad skill to have.

OFG
 

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We SO NEED a 'Tech Section' here for permanent posts!
 

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I agree JH. Will work on that this week.

Are there any general rules of thumbs for finding eatable mushrooms? Like if they contain XXX or they secrete XXX color when squeezed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are there any general rules of thumbs for finding eatable mushrooms? Like if they contain XXX or they secrete XXX color when squeezed?
Well there are some rules of thumb, but they pertain to a particular type of mushroom one is looking for. There is such a wide diversity that no one rule will cover everything.

For instance, with Boletes a general rule of thumb is "Don't eat the blue stainers. " And for the most part that is a good rule. Except that there are in fact a couple that one can consume that do stain blue. Boletus appendiculatus for example But many mushrooms don't stain blue whatsoever, and just because they don't doesn't mean they are safe to eat.

So in short... No. There are no reliable rules of thumb that cross the gambit of mushrooms. The rules that are out there are species specific.

The best thing to do is start learning the good edible ones and the deadly poisonous ones. That way you know whats good and what not to eat for sure.

Always cook all wild mushrooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is that one pic above with the chicken mushroom considered a tree fungus or a mushroom?
Well the term Fungi pretty much encompasses all mushrooms, as well as other type organisms like smut, truffles, slime, and various others.

The Chicken of the woods is often called a chicken mushroom.

Does it have a cap and stipe like a classical mushroom? No. Its whats called a polypore, which typically lack a distinct stalk, these also have pores rather than gills. There are many mushrooms that also have pores, but are not polypores such as boletes.

So to answer your questions, its both really.
 

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There's old shroomers and there's bold shroomers but there's no such thing as old, bold shroomers.
:p

Some mushrooms you can die from eating? Eek!

Also, I know there are some mushrooms out there that can make you hallucinate, so we want to be sure to not eat those kinds of mushrooms....or be sure to, either way you see it I guess.
Maybe you could post some pics of the mushrooms that you want to BE SURE not to eat...

How would you suggest cooking wild mushrooms anyways?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There's old shroomers and there's bold shroomers but there's no such thing as old, bold shroomers.
Thats not true, we must not run in the same circles... I know a few old bold mushroomers, they are just really good at it. ;)

About 5% of wild mushrooms will kill you, and about 5% are edible. The rest lay somewhere in between. (over 70,000 species have been described) Some will make you sick, some just don't taste any good.

I'd highly suggest that if your interested in learning about wild mushrooms, that you got to your local mycological club meetings and familiarize yourself with both poisonous and edible mushrooms. The best and worst are fairly easy to learn, and it helps to have the assistance of experienced mushroomers.

Heres a good rule of thumb...

When in doubt, throw it out. Meaning if your not 100% sure what it is, don't eat it.

Some edible mushrooms have poisonous lookalikes.

Most of them will just make you ill, but some can be fatal. There are ways to tell the good ones from the false ones, but it takes practice and education.

As far as hallucinogenic mushrooms go, I don't mess with them, nor have I taken the time to learn much about them. As far as I'm concerned I just put them in the "do not eat" catagory with 95% of the others.

How to cook wild mushrooms? Well depends on the type first of all.
With so many different varieties, textures, and tastes, its like asking how do you cook vegetables. It depends on the vegetable and the end result you'd like to consume.

Sauteed is almost always a winner. Deep fried is usually good too. They make a great addition to eggs, steak, fish, soups and stews.

There is one type called a candy cap (Lactarius rubidus) which is quite like maple and is sometimes used to make cookies.

Just do make sure you cook them, many wild mushrooms can cause stomach upset if not properly cooked, and some can make you quite sick if not properly cooked. This is even true of the (Agaricus bisporus) button mushroom you see in the grocery. It doesn't necessarly effect everyone poorly when eaten raw, but it has the potential.

All that being said, mushrooming has a stigma attached to it, but its really a fun and rewarding hobby once you learn the basics.
 

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there is no poisonous mushroom in north america that grows directly on wood.

there is no poisonous toadstool in north america.

some poison mushrooms LOOK like toadstools, they ain't.. they're aminitas.

the rules of thumb are true, but just true enough to encourage an amateur to make errors of judgment.. being ALMOST right is a fast trip to liver failure.

aminitas will darn sure kill ya. don't be wrong..

and some of them blue ringers will make ya see God, and who KNOWS how long your hair might grow after that.. ;)
 

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In my city there are restaurants that would pay a fortune for those fresh mushrooms! Seeing them all growing in a big clump made my eyes pop out. I'd love to eat fresh shrooms like that!
 

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Here is a site that will help you identify different mushrooms.

David Fischer's AmericanMushrooms.com

As far as eating anything your not sure of don't. A local resident who gathered different species of mushrooms and was considered an expert managed to poison himself and died. Not sure what mushroom but I would expect it was a false Morel although not highly toxic it could have been an allergic reaction.
 

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I see mushrooms in the woods often, but have never picked them because I cannot tell the difference between something poisonous and what is healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
there is no poisonous mushroom in north america that grows directly on wood.

there is no poisonous toadstool in north america.

some poison mushrooms LOOK like toadstools, they ain't.. they're aminitas.

the rules of thumb are true, but just true enough to encourage an amateur to make errors of judgment.. being ALMOST right is a fast trip to liver failure.

aminitas will darn sure kill ya. don't be wrong..

and some of them blue ringers will make ya see God, and who KNOWS how long your hair might grow after that.. ;)
Wow.... this post just illustrates the fact that you shouldn't follow any rules of thumb, and you should properly identify anything you intend to consume.

there is no poisonous mushroom in north america that grows directly on wood.

False. Omphalotus olearius commonly known as the jack-o-lantern or false chanterelle often grows on stumps, buried wood and the base of trees. There are other poisonous mushrooms that grown on wood as well, don't buy this supposed rule of thumb for a minute.

there is no poisonous toadstool in north america.

Obviously false. The term toadstool generally refers to a mushroom of any species having an umbrella-shaped pileus generally considered to be poisonous as opposed to an edible mushroom. There are certainly poisonous mushrooms in North America.

some poison mushrooms LOOK like toadstools, they ain't.. they're aminitas.

Amanitas are indeed poisonous, and the term toadstool is irrelevant. See previous statement.

the rules of thumb are true, but just true enough to encourage an amateur to make errors of judgment.. being ALMOST right is a fast trip to liver failure.

Simple solution, don't believe any rules of thumb when it comes to mushroom hunting and identification. Be 100 percent positive of your identification, because mis-identification can kill you.

aminitas will darn sure kill ya. don't be wrong..

True... Amanitas are potentially deadly.

and some of them blue ringers will make ya see God, and who KNOWS how long your hair might grow after that.. ;)

True some of those blue ringers do have the potential to make you see god, even if your an atheist. May not actually cause increased hair growth.

Morel season is quickly approaching. Ought to see some by April for sure. Good luck, have fun and be safe and positively identify anything you want to eat.

OFG
 

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Good thing you came and cleared that up for us or I would be going around thinking that no poisonous mushroom in north america grows directly on wood. Thanks OFG! You might have saved my life! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One rule of thumb you can follow is "Never overestimate the intelligence and common sense of others."

;)
 

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Excellent thread OFG. Thank you very much for posting it.

May I also suggest for people who WISH to become old shroomers, that they take SPORE PRINTS as part of the identification process. That'll pretty much rule out the things that will kill you deader than a hammer from the ones that will just give you an evil stomach. ;)
 

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I love morels and all the others mentioned here. The other one that is a tasty treat is the puff ball. A puff ball can be eaten as long as it has not started to dry out and can be eaten in any way you like to cook. I've eaten puff balls as french toast, fried with garlic and onion, as a "tofu"-like additive to sauces--you name it. One year I had puff balls so often, I got tired of trying to find new ways to cook them.

Remember; no matter the mushroom, be sure that where ever you hunt them there had been no pesticide used in the area. Mushrooms will absorbe the chemicals in the area.
 

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OK, this is to all you veteran shroomers out there...

I haven't picked a mushroom for darn near 20 years. What's 'in season' right now in the eastern US?

I'm more an herbalist than a mycologist, but I'd like to learn. :D
 
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