Fungus Foraging

Inspired by the successes of others and their stories of a bumper crop this year, we went out fungus foraging. We did a bit of work on determining where the correct mushroom habitat might be in our area, then headed off, equiped with bag, field guide and camera. On the way, Hannah spotted a large white mushroom by the roadside. We had a look at it, and thought it might be a parasol mushroom. ‘If nothing else, we can probably eat that‘ we said.

We came across lots of fungus, but despite lots of likely looking spots, sadly no porcini. Here’s some of the things we saw:

MUSHROOMS

In a field, we spotted lots more of the maybe Parasols, so on our way back to the car, I decided to collect some.

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We got them home, and set about the task of positively identifying them with the internet and our field guides. John Wright says, in his book, that the thing one might confuse with a Parasol is a Dapperling – which is deadly poisonous. (!) However, they are never bigger than 7cm across, so John suggests that you don’t touch anything smaller than 12cm across. Most of ours were pretty massive, but a couple were about 12cm ish – so we ditched those. Parasols should aslo have a ring around the stem, which can be moved up and down. One specimen was missing it’s ring – it’s history.

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The rest, we were confident to say, were definately Parasols. So now we just needed to pluck up the courage to eat them! Which we did. We made a delicious mushroom linguine with these, and one of our precious fresh Porcini.

Considering the fact that poisoning from Dapperlings can take up to 12 hours to manifest, despite having identified the mushrooms, I was still very pleased to wake up the next day!

Pete

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