There are numerous varieties of easily distinguishable, edible mushrooms, with none more well-known than the morel– a fungus, rather than a mushroom. While each has a distinct growing season and distinct locale, they all form a family of delectable wild foods that are much sought after, like the French truffle.
One of the most distinguishable of the edible mushrooms is the puffball – a globe-shaped mushroom that can grow to soccer ball size, and has a delightfully woody flavour. The favourite growing site of this particular mushroom is on dung heaps, in rotting tree and wood chips mulch, and near sunlit pastures. It’s best eaten before the interior takes place to turn from solid white to brown to black. Make sure that your pick is really a puffball, and has no stalk growing inside. It need to be light-colored and firm inside. Puffballs begin to develop in early summer and late spring, producing into the early fall.
funguy chocolate is the shaggy mane, a morel-shaped mushroom with upward turning scales along with a dusty brown color. It grows from spring until summer, to a height of 4 6″, preferring meadows and air open to the mottled lighting of a woodland. Shaggy manes are distinguishable by their tendency to break easily when handled.
Chanterelles are another delicacy with a flavour similar to morels. Although found in summer and fall, they like similar soil conditions. Imagine a trumpet with its mouth facing skyward, and you will have an image of the beige to brown chanterelle mushroom.
On the list of most unusually shaped fungi is the hen-of-the-woods, a growth found at the base of decaying trees that looks nearly the same to a reddish hen with ruffled tail feathers. This delightful mushroom can be discovered in late spring and early summer. Catch it early on as well as young, nonetheless,, to see to it it has not developed a woody texture.
Obviously, one of the first edible mushrooms is the oyster mushroom that can often be found still as the snows just begin to melt. Growing on the sides of dead trees, these beautiful white clusters offer a first taste of the mushroom harvests to follow.
Other fungi and mushrooms can be edible, including shelf mushrooms, often found growing on decaying trees in shaded woodlands. However, a good deal of the standard umbrella type mushrooms have deadly sisters, while others (such as the shelf mushroom) may be edible, yet have bland taste, or tough textures.
Without having a doubt, the numerous varieties of morels, however, are probably the most sought after, during the mid-spring harvest season of theirs. Alongside them you are going to find a variety of fungi, many of which are not toxic, but are not the equal of the morel as a spring wild harvest treat.