Pacific Northwest Mushrooming – By Dummies

haha – yes, that’s right “by” dummies, not “for” dummies, as we really don’ t know what the heck we’re doing.

My husband and i LOVE foraging for mushrooms. We have two species we know how to ID (and know how to ID their look alikes) so that we feel confident eating them: chanterelles and king boletes (porcinis). Neither of which grow on our property, doh! We do have some pretty neat shrooms out here though, so we went gathering last weekend and brought them home to research and attempt to id, NOT eat. Here’s what we found:

These big fellows just popped up in the ‘trash area’ left to us between the barn and shop. They’re growing under a Maple tree. I believe Andy had an idea of the genus but i can’t remember.

Boletes are my favorite mushroom to cook – King Boletes in particular. We have a LOT of the red stemmed “bitter boletes” which i think you can tell from their name that they’re no good for eating. We’re not positive, but we THINK these are “fat jack” Suillus caerulescens. Supposedly edible but not delicious. I just hate not knowing/utilizing a potential food source!

We’re almost positive these are “shrimp mushrooms” a type of russula. The older specimen smelled strongly of fish/shrimp! I’ll admit, we did cook up a tiny bit and taste it, and it was gooood.

I haven’t a clue with these, but they are just gorgeous! We’ve got whole herds of these peachy colored mushrooms out in the woods. So lovey! They look a bit like “lactarius rubrilacteus” and do, in fact, bruise greenish.

These mushrooms are so.neat. Tall and skinny with a magical fringe. The gills are powdery looking. We IDd this one too, and again – i can’t remember. If my husband would answer his stinkin phone while i write this post it would be REALLY HELPFUL.  There are several stands of these very magical looking mushrooms. They are clearly not edible, but totally gorgeous.

And lastly are these little colony guys. Growing in dense clusters they reminded me of ‘chicken of the woods’ but i’m sure that’s not what they are.

Are you a mycologist or knowledgable in the word of mushrooms? Lend your comments to our ID attempts! What kind of mushrooms are these, and what do you think of their edibility? Yes, no, flavorful, gross?

1 Comment

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One Response to Pacific Northwest Mushrooming – By Dummies

  1. Courtney

    Hello :) my husband and I love foraging, too. also, this is our first year so we are beginniners. I know very well the tall and skinny mushroom you refer to is a Stropharia Ambigua. the caps are slimy if they get wet, and they have scaly white stems, the gills are white but quickly darken to purple grey because of the spores. spore print dark purple. make sure the spore print is not white and the mushroom doesn’t grow from a volva sack, as those are the trademarks to the close lookalike the deadly amanita, or Death Cap. (which I found out was introduced in the 90’s here in BC, so are uncommon, but are out there.) The Stropharia Ambigua is of uncertain edibility. There isn’t much literature on them, cause everyone says they taste like old leaves which are gross. but my husband and i love their taste. I find my visual acuity seem heightened after eating one (which we always cook first) but it’s also, ambiguous, and hard to tell. Taste great though. Boletes are my favourites too. We went mushrooming today at Burn’s Bog, and found some Pleurotus Serotinus, an edible tree shroom. We find Blewits a lot. Hope you’re having fun, we can’t wait til morel season!

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