October 27, 2010

Wild Mushrooms - Growing Mushrooms - Free Food

Free Food - well that conjures up a giggle for sure! All food is free until you liberate it.

It is the end of mushroom season here. Mushroom picking is so fun I am sorry to see it end. There is nothing sweeter than traipsing through the forest, over trunks and under brush, lured by the glimpse of fungi on the horizon. What a work out, what a thrill, and that is even before the eating starts.

The mushroom is not a plant, but rather the fruit of a "plant" that grows under ground all year long. Underground it can be huge. When you disturb soil in the forest you will see there are white strings all through it. This is the what the "plant" really looks like and can be miles large and hundreds of years old. As you can imagine there many of varieties of mushrooms, but strangely the same mushrooms grow on different continents. For example a maitake mushroom here is identical to one in Romania.

Both these uglies are supposed to be edible, but not choice. Would you eat them?

Mushrooms bring rare amino acids and valueable immune building protein to the diet. If we were to gorge on the foods available where we live, when they are available I am sure we would ward off seasonal viruses. Mushrooms are an excellent case in point, used in this way by Asian cultures for centuries. Nutritional information found here

This is a boletes, supposed to be excellent eating. I have lots of them and I pick a could every year, but as of yet haven't got the guts to try it.

These are pine mushrooms which were plentiful this year. I grate them fine so they can be slipped into dishes unnoticed by picky eaters, then off to the freezer.

I am new at mushroom picking and learn from others on the net. An excellent blog to follow for mushrooms is Fat of the Land. To learn about mushrooms


  1. Those are some great mushroom shots you have there. I to have yet to try the coral or the jelly, but the bolete you have is a type of Leccinum, all of which are edible and pretty good. They do stain when sliced. One year we dried a bunch and they all turned out black but still yummy!
    I don't know your pine mushroom. Do you have any other pics or names for it. We are always interested in new fungi!

  2. I am not a mushroom fan, but at least you are educating me! LOL

  3. Thanks for the link to the Fat of the Land blog! I do like finding food, and some of those recipes look pretty inspiring.

    In my own mushrooming, I have tended to stick with mushrooms that are rated, taste-wise, as being choice, and not just edible. I've seen slimy masses like those in your pictures, known them to be "edible," and like you have left them alone!

    Maybe with spectacular recipes, even the merely edible become tastier?


  4. You are brave .. I might eat a morel because they are so easy to distinguish .. we had some white marshmallow shaped ones growing all over the place this fall (have never seen them before) .. but I'm pretty sure they were called death angels. Your logs in the next post with the mushroom plugs is something I could experiment with. It takes such a well trained eye and an experienced mushroom picker to eat wild ones.

  5. The first time eating something dirty, that might be deadly, that you pick up off the ground to scary, do doubt. But, once you see you will live, it is a bit of a thrill to do it again, and try others. The forest is speckled like it was strewn with confetti with colorful specimens, yet I too only eat a couple of them. These logs are for food production and not thrills. Yet, "a thrill is a thrill". The pines are also called, matsutake. I didn't realize some people didn't like the taste. When I was first served them they were $200 a pound and a delicacy. Funny thing, eh, no? Peace

  6. Here is a link Geno:

  7. Wow again... I'm a little scared of selecting mushrooms that are toxic to the liver... but that's because I don't anything about them... except for the ones at the grocery store!

  8. Oooh, this is soo cool! Mushroom hunting! I love mushrooms, I wish I knew how to identify all the different kinds of wild ones!