Edible mushrooms?


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Porcini are delicious 

sliced and lightly fried in butter and olive oil together with a sliced tomato and

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 a splash of pernod or fennel seeds.

Served with a good quality spaghetti and a sprinkle of Pecorino.

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Another mushroom often neglected is the horn of plenty (Fr. trompette de la mort. It. trombetti dei morti - trumpet of the dead). They are fairly common (very common here) but being black or dark grey in colour, are often overlooked and/or thought to be toxic (due to one of their popular names).

 

In fact, they are quite delicious. Serve lightly fried with bacon/pancetta on toast for a simple, very enjoyable snack or breakfast or hors-d'oeuvre.

 

One thing to watch for is that the trumpet shape tends to harbour creepy-crawlies. Have a good look inside them before using.

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Must be a REAL fleshy Mediterranean tomato - like we have, not one of those bags of tasteless liquid so common in England!

 

I find dried porcini excellent as well. There is always a good stock of home dried mushrooms here and porcini are the favourites. A good soak in water (retaining the water for stock or soup base, of course) and they make superb flavouring for omelettes.

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The only type I use called cuore di bue the beef tomato type. Must be a bit soft as they have a lovely flavour.

I only use dried porcini for risotto. As a snack or meal I prefer fresh.

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I can certainly get hold of that type of tomato - they're called Coeur de Boeuf (Beef Heart) here - same as the Italian name as they are so large but they are solid flesh and flavoursome. I tend to use San Marzano for an added richness.

 

I agree entirely about using dried mushrooms in risotto and suchlike and fresh for meals where the mushroom is the main component.

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I had my first Wood Blewits from the garden today. Unfortunately, they were still small and half eaten by rodents. Nonetheless, they made a great mushroom omelette - yummy!

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Blewitts are very nice, but you really do need to make sure they are well cooked. I got that wrong some years ago and spent an interesting evening sweating and 'clearing' them from my system.

 

As for 'porcini'  Maybe Nonna has a view on this.  Years ago, I read somewhere in one of my Fungi books, that 'porcini' ( little pigs.. or piglets) was a generic term covering a number of edible Boletus and possibly even Leccineum and Suillus species.  I've not been able to find that quote again.  Maybe they were wrong or maybe I read it wrong, but most people these days only seem to use 'porcini' to refer to Boletus Edulis, the Cepe, or Penny Bun.

 

Col

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Where I live porcini is an alternative term for what is mainly known in France as a cep. This is probably due to the proximity of the Côte d'Azur to Italy.

The cep or porcini is, to everyone around here, the Boletus edulis but there is a very similar looking fungus, Boletus reticulatus, which grows more in oak forests and, although edible, is not so good in taste or texture. The forests around here are mainly Pinus maritimus and thus more suited for the edulis variety.

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Interesting.  I had to check that and found that B. reticulatus is an alternative name for what is known here as B. aestavalis.  Don't recall finding it but it is described as 'edible and excellent' .. which puts it on a par with B. edulis.

 

Two others which get a special mention in my books are:  B.aereus and B. badius ( The Bay Bolete)  I've not found aereus, but occasionally find badius.. usually a solitary specimen.  It is superb and usually maggot free.

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  • 11 months later...

I did spot a 3" clean white flat mushroom on a garden this morning, I picked it & took a small bite, the tip of my tongue was stinging for a good half hour! 

What about these I have spotted on Wollaton Hall Drive, was going to pick them for me tea?

 

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Oooooooo could have been dog pee Margie, but it was picked off a lawn on Rectory Gardens, can't see any dogs being walked up there, tasted something like petrol or nail varnish remover? 

 

I have been looking at some pictures of mushrooms & found one that looked like the one I took a nibble from ........ Certain death :crazy:

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This is a public service announcement.  :)

 

In all seriousness, there are at least 40 species of 'Agaricus' mushrooms growing in the UK.  These are mostly white, with gills which start out pinkish and turn to brown.  Most have a strong resemblance to the white mushroom from the supermarkets, and the 'Field Mushroom', Agaricus Campestris. Most are edible, some aren't, and a couple will make you very sick.  If you don't know for certain what you have got, DO NOT EAT IT! If it stains yellow on handling. (Agaricus Xanthoderma) DO NOT EAT IT.

 

Just to add to the confusion, the well known red mushroom with the white spots.. seen in fairy tales etc., is colloquially known as the 'Fly Agaric'.  But in modern classification, it is not an Agaric, it is an Amanita..The Amanitas contain both the highly prized 'Amanita Ceasarea' (Ceasar's Mushroom) which is not found in Britain, and the deadly Amanita Phalloides (Death Cap)  Amanita Pantherina (Panther Cap), Amanita Virosa (Destroying Angel) and Amanita Verna (Spring Amanita) ..all deadly poisonous.

 

All of the deadly Amanitas have gills which are white and stay white.  They also have a bulbous base to their stems and the remains of a 'sac' from which the mushroom emerges. and usually a 'ring' around the stem below the cap

 

A good rule of thumb is that any mushroom with pure white gills is deadly until you establish otherwise.

 

Surprisingly, as well as many other identifying features, taste and smell are both diagnostic. At least one of my books says that even with poisonous species, taste should be checked by taking a very small piece and tasting it on the end of the tongue before SPITTING IT OUT.  It's not something I have ever tried, with anything that might be deadly. I can recognise an Amanita by its general form.  Whether it might just be one of the few amanitas which are safe to eat is of no concern.  Unless you are a real expert, with access to a microscope and other stuff, it is far too easy to get it wrong and given that no Amanita is regarded as anything but just 'edible'. (I.E. not 'edible and good', 'edible and excellent', 'edible and delicious' etc., why would anyone risk it?

 

It's easy to think that a mushroom 'looks' OK.  But once you get into really looking.. there are so many characteristics that it becomes a minefield.  Overall form, colour, colour change over time, smell, taste, shape and size of cap and stem, markings on both, shape of base of stem, colour of gills, the way the gills meet the stem, colour of the flesh, whether it changes when cut, (some instantly turn blue) habitat, associated trees/plants/grassland, season, 'substrate' (soil/rock type) many of the most deadly grow in limestone/chalk areas.

 

And finally ALL of the old wives tales (whether it peels, whether it turns a silver spoon black. etc., etc.. ) are wrong.  All of them.

 

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21 hours ago, MargieH said:

Calling @radfordred  are you still in the land of the living after your mushroom tasting?  

 

I only had a nibble, still above ground, finished up in The Embankment Trent Bridge celebrating Forests win sampling a hazy vegan friendly IPA, iron stomach me :crazy:

 

Why do we have 2 mushroom topics :crazy: any chance some clever sod could merge? 

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  • 6 months later...

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