08 June 2009

All mushrooms are edible.

Some only once! Words to live by for sure, but sometimes you've got to take the plunge if you want to be a gastronaut. Who first pulled a random mushroom from the ground and shoved it in their mouth anyway?! Generations of brave (and/or really hungry) humanoids have paved the way for you to enjoy the fruits of the forest. So show some respect!

The images above are just a small selection of local fungi photos. Everybody probably recognises the red one, Amanita muscaria (fly agaric). It is the archetypal fairy tale mushroom. It's poisonous! Don't eat it! But of course that hasn't stopped others, including Siberian and Scandanavian shamens who have historically consumed it for mind-expanding purposes. You've been warned mortal.

But we save the best for last. Lactarius deliciosus. Totally edible and growing in a pine forest near you...after a bit of rain and a warm spell. It's common name is 'pine mushroom' or 'saffron milk cap'. The Spanish call them 'rovellones'. Are they good? I challenge you to find many other living, edible, organisms who have a binomial name meaning 'delicious'. They are one of the meatiest mushrooms around and never go slimy. They should be cooked, like most wild mushrooms. Slice them up and saute in butter with garlic and a pinch of salt. Garnish with parsley and eat a pile of it on toasted sourdough with a little extra virgin olive oil. But this is not the only way to enjoy them, as you can see in the photo, a local fungivore is contemplating his options.


  1. Do you know what the red star shaped one, third from the top is? I saw these popping up on campus recently and figured they were some kind of fungus. I'm curious to know what they are.

  2. It's called Aseroa rubra (starfish stinkhorn or anemone fungus). It's a cool one, but not edible. sniff it and you wont be tempted. common around here. check out http://fungimap.rbg.vic.gov.au/fsp/sp003.html for more info.

    the Garden

  3. Those mushies look sooooo cool. This is fantastic way of sharing great shots and info.

  4. Thanks for the ID of the Aseroe rubra :) Certainly won't be appearing on my menu anytime soon, but it is cool to look at.