What fungi are edible in the Ohio wilderness?
Fungi. Never eat a fungus that you aren’t absolutely sure of, fungi can be very poisonous and kill you in a matter of days or they can just make you very sick. This is an article about edible mushrooms and for some of them, their lookalikes.
The Boletaceae, or the more common name the hamburger mushroom, is a large edible mushroom that has many relatives. They are commonly found under or around trees and commonly found under pine trees in the fall. Many are edible but there are a few that are poisonous. Some tips are 1. Don’t eat any that have red or orange pores on their top. 2. Another way to check if they are poisonous is by pinching off some of the raw tissue from the top of the mushroom and tasting it. If it is bitter or just doesn’t taste good don’t pick the mushroom. 3. Cook the mushroom. If it is slimy on the top, you can just scrape the slime off of it and cook it. 4. Check it for bugs. Bugs like mushrooms too so always check for them. And always cook it soon after it is picked, or it will rot.
Cantharellaceae, or Chanterelles, are edible mushrooms too. They are recognized by their blunt edged sides and zigzagging lines on their sides and being bright orange. Chanterelles grow on the ground. Unlike their look-alike (the jack-o-lantern mushroom, below) that has a gill like structure under their FLAT top and is POISONOUS!!!!!! Chanterelles are stiff
with a hollow top and the jack-o-lantern mushroom is soft and squishy. To cook Chanterelles, slowly cook them in a skillet in butter until soft.
Clavariaceae, or deer horn mushroom, looks very much like a coral with its many branches pointing upward. Most are tan, yellowish, whitish, and some are pink or purple. Some of this variety have a laxative effect. Don’t eat any that have a bitter taste to them, have gooey bases, or bruise brown.
Coprinus comatus, the lawyers wig, is of the largest groups of edible mushrooms. To make sure that this is an inky cap mushroom, check for an ink sack inside of the mushroom. Pick before they turn black and eat the same day.
Grifola frondosa, hen of the woods, is a fungus with no poisonous lookalikes. This has many similar looking species but they are all leathery or hard like wood while this is soft mushroom.
Hericium erinaceus, bearded tooth, is white when it is young and as it gets older, the yellower it gets. It resembles something like the paw of a polar bear. This kind of fungus can grow a foot wide which makes them easy to spot, especially because they grow on wood. This fungi has no poisonous lookalikes but does have a relative that has a more branch-like structure that isn’t poisonous. The bearded tooth can grow upside down or right sides up making it have various forms.
The hydnum repandum, the hedgehog mushroom or the fool proof mushroom, has lookalikes but they are all edible.
Laetiporus sulphureus, the sulfur shelf, causes SOME peoples lips to swell when eating this mushroom. It has no poisonous relatives and is frequently found weighing about forty pounds. This mushroom has a woody center so cut the edges off and cook those.
Lycoperdon, the puffball, is a very common mushroom that can range from the size of a golf ball to a small sheep. There is a similar species (below) that is horny on its outside too. It is generally smaller
Morchella escuelenta, the morel, is a smaller mushroom that has a sponge like structure on its top. There is a common morel, a black morel, and a half-free morel. There is a false morel (below) that is poisonous. Real morels are hollow while false morels are solid in the center.
There is also an oyster mushroom that is edible but it doesn’t taste the best.
Jalic Inc. Wild Crafting, 2012.
Web. 2 Feb. 2012.