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High-end mushrooms

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High-end mushrooms

Postby John Leary » Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:19 pm

Steve and Nayla, I know you guys are mushroom connoisseurs. I, sadly, am a mushroom schlub -- I basically know Morel, Shiitake, and that's it. I was wondering if you could recommend a few varieties of local mushroom to someone wishing to expand their palette. And if you could describe the flavors of these different mushrooms just a bit, that would be wonderful!

Lest it need to be said, I'm talking about strictly legal mushrooms. :)
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Postby Nayla Caruso » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:22 pm

Locally available mushrooms are one thing, but available to buy is quite another.

Oysters mushrooms go both ways, not terribly difficult to find or to buy, they're typically available marinaded. I find they have a meaty texture that's just slightly brittle and a mellow taste with a metallic aftertaste.

Morels do grow in the area, but are much easier to pick up at Delicious Orchards, but they'll cost you $45 a pound. Consequently, I can't tell you how they taste.

Puffballs are the only mushrooms I'd recommend here for amateur mycologists. They're readily identifiable, and if cut in half and white all the way through, they're safe to eat. I adore them, they're very mild with a buttery taste.

Jelly ears are related to cloud ear mushrooms and can be substituted for them in Chinese cooking, the grow on dead wood and look like tiny shriveled orange ears. Soak them to swell them before cooking. They have a chewy texture and taste a bit savory and a bit vegetal, not very mushroomy at all.

Before eating any wild mushrooms, you'll need to be 100% certain you've correctly identified the ones you've picked. There are many good guides out there to get started with. We prefer to perform spore prints on most mushrooms, all that we're vague on identifying.

A final word of warning, mushrooms that are known to be perfectly safe can make people with sensitivities to mycoproteins very sick. There's no predicting this and it is the root of the warning labels on Quorn packages.
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Puffballs

Postby John Leary » Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:45 pm

Nayla Caruso wrote:Puffballs are the only mushrooms I'd recommend here for amateur mycologists. They're readily identifiable, and if cut in half and white all the way through, they're safe to eat. I adore them, they're very mild with a buttery taste.


Sounds like a treat! I'll have to figure out how I can track some down.

Do you guys plan a field trip anytime soon?
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