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Wild mushrooms

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As I’ve written before, mushrooming is a popular pastime in Russia and other Slavic countries.

It’s also a favorite hobby of my new roommate, Steve, an all-American dude from Wisconsin who spends a lot of time on Mt. Rainier for his job.

He returned yesterday from a few days of collecting data with three bags of assorted species of fungi, all of which, he assured me, are edible.

Steve displayed his finds on a plate, educating me on each variety and how comfortable he felt eating them. The chanterelles — two varieties, golden and blue — for sure, the chicken of the woods — probably, the porcini — mosttttt likely.

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He invited me in on the tasting, starting with the safest: the chanterelles. He washed a large one (even though you supposedly shouldn’t, as it makes them waterlogged), chopped it, and sauteed it in olive oil with some sea salt, garlic powder, and black pepper until the flesh reached a golden sear. He said that I was under absolutely no obligation to sample it, and he would understand if I didn’t.

With eager trepidation, I took a small piece. It was delicious: buttery, savory, earthy, in a familiar way. Definitely a chanterelle.

We put the others in the fridge, and I don’t think I’m brave enough to try them. Steve has a scientist’s eye and they all resemble the pics of safe mushrooms in his mushroom hunting book (no white gills — “white gills kill“) but I’m going to let him confirm.

Supposedly the most common cause of mushroom sickness is the placebo effect — the stress of thinking you’ve eaten a poisonous mushroom when it’s really the edible variety.

I’d just rather not find out.

Tags: mushrooms, Vegan MoFo, Vegan MoFo 2013

5 Responses to “Wild mushrooms”

  1. September 26th, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Jes says:

    Look at those mushrooms!!! I think you’re more than safe with the chicken of the woods at least. That one is a really obvious mushroom with few look-alikes. I wish I had the skills to find mushrooms like your new roommate!

  2. September 26th, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Helen says:

    Thanks for the reassurance, Jes! I wish I had his skills too! Buuuuuut I would probably poison myself and others.

  3. September 26th, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Susan says:

    Be careful! Last year in Australia almost a whole family accidentally died after one of them cooked mushrooms they had found.

  4. September 27th, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Helen says:

    Cool! Funky funghi!

  5. October 16th, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Ty says:

    whoah! as you know, i won’t eat mushrooms anyway (because they’re grody!), but this gives me a whole other level of… SEE?!!!

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