Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yes, We Have No B. Ananas


I found this warty mushroom growing at the base of a longleaf pine on the VSU campus. It's boletellus ananas, an odd bolete due to the presence of a veil remnant on its warty red cap, but it's a little dried out so the cap has dulled.



This shows the classic blue staining qualities that many boletes possess. Just behind them, drying porcinis, and just behind that, the base of a glass of cab and a sliver of my swiss army knife.

Last week I went to the Mostel estate and picked mushrooms with Aileen and Jane Whitehead (an Etruscan scholar). Most weren't edible, though one bolete was tasty sauteed in butter. We found two deadly destroying angels, too, but the highlight was a mushroom giant, the macrocybe titans, growing near their house (photo by the Mostels). These can grow to enormous proportions (larger than two feet tall) in Central America and Mexico, but in North Florida they tend to stop at dinner plate size. They are supposedly edible, but one commentator described their cooking smell as something akin to "dirty laundry," so we left it to sporulate.




Note: reports on mushrooms that I found and/or cooked represent my personal experiences, and in no way should be taken as recommendations for readers. This is not a guidebook. Eat wild mushrooms at your peril.

5 comments:

George said...

"dirty laundry," so we left it to sporulate

Sounds like a good weekend in any college dorm.

And I suppose now this blog is sponsored by the Progresso product line.

Marty said...

Never even thought of that. You think they'll send me a check?

Mrs. Walker said...

I just want to say that I love the title of this entry...

Queen Whackamole said...

Yum yum yum... craving sauteed mushroooms and it's not even lunchtime...
Have you considered trying to cultivate any?

Marty said...

Thanks, Mrs. Walker. I made myself laugh.

Ahhhh, Queen, if only I could. Mycorrhizal 'shrooms like porcini or chanterelles are symbiotic with the roots of living trees/plants, especially mature trees, so cultivation essentially involves planting forests. In Sweden they're trying to cultivate chanterelles, but, while they've succeeded in getting the mycorrhiza to grow, they don't know how to trigger it to fruit. Dung lovers like our common grocery store agaric or dead wood lovers like oyster or shitake can be cultivated. You can even order shitake logs on line, I believe.