Saturday, 6 November 2010

Friday Fungus: Report on a mushroom hunt

Last Sunday saw me - and about 20 others - tramping through the woods around Ogden Water, a great little country park in the South Pennines. This was Slow Food West Yorkshire's Annual Mushroom Forage and a splendid (if ever so slightly damp) occasion it was too culminating with an outdoor feast on the foraged goodies pictured above. All this was made possible by the expert input of wild food expert and herbalist, Jesper Launder.

For those interested in the details of the feast:

Included there is the grisette (with the delightful latin name, Amanita vaginata). This is the tall, white-stemmed one with the steel grey cap. Quite why the mushroom acquired the same name as a female french peasant of loose morals is something of a mystery to me. But the latin name is simply descriptive since vaginata means sheath and describes the sac from which the mushroom springs.

There are two deceivers in the pile - plain ones (Laccaria laccata) and amythyst ( Laccaria amethystea) ones. The little chaps were pretty abundant but there's no jolly stories about them - they're just good to eat!

Finally there are honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea) and conifer stump mushrooms - both of which I'd come across but didn't know we could eat.

We also identified a load of other mushrooms edible, inedible and poisonous - some of which will feature in future episodes of the Friday Fungus!

All in all a fine afternoon's effort, a real education and a great feast!



Pam Nash said...

A great walk and discovery of new edible mushrooms - sounds perfect!

SomeBeans said...

Most admit I'm rather cautious about wild mushrooms!