Monday, November 09, 2009

Cauliflower Mushroom

Sunday I took a walk in the woods to find a spear shaft. It was one of those slow walks where I walked at the pace of nature stopping to identify trees with my field guide. In an hour's time I covered probably only half a mile. I was looking for young maple trees of a diameter suitable for a spear shaft, but had no luck. I got to know that area of the woods a lot better though.

As I approached a creek crossing I spotted this beautiful cauliflower mushroom below. It was growing at the base of a very large cedar stump.

I cut it from the ground leaving much of the root in place. Hopefully the mushroom will be back next year or the year after. When I got it home it weighted in at 6 lbs. One field guide I read said they grow up to 30 inches wide and 40 lbs.

I am a complete beginner when it comes to harvesting wild mushrooms so I'm pretty nervous about eating them. This one however is pretty easy to identify and is considered one of the best to eat. Tonight I tried a small portion fried up in butter. It was pretty good. My plan is to eat a little more each time to make sure my body is OK with it. In conclusion, free wild food is awesome!


Anonymous said...

Thats so odd! I was reading a HUGE guide on mycology today at a local bookstore. Are you gonna eat that thing/is it edible?


Sassmouth said...

I've already eaten some three times. I made a pasta meal with the mushroom in the sauce. It was yummy. I've only eaten like 5% of the thing. I'm going to have to step up the dosage. My friend Andrew will be happy to take some off my hands too.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a Ramaria species. Is it? At least its edible.

YAY for free food!


Sassmouth said...

It is actually a Sparassis, but it is grouped with many Ramarias in the Coral Fungi section of the book I'm referencing.

I had it in a veggie stir fry earlier this week and a soup tonight. It's pretty good.

Torjus Gaaren said...

Have you considered trying to grow these mushrooms? They look like it would be possible.