AMERICA'S BEST, SAFEST
EDIBLE WILD MUSHROOMS!
The TEXT on this Webpage regarding
EDIBLE WILD MUSHROOMS
is as important to your SAFETY as the photographs!
IF IN DOUBT, THROW THE MUSHROOM OUT!
I assume responsibility for the accuracy of information provided at americanmushrooms.com regarding edible wild mushrooms. However, I cannot assume responsibility for the integrity of your use of the information I present here regarding edible wild mushrooms. It is up to you to exercise your own best judgement in the event that you choose to consume edible wild mushrooms. Specifically, it is encumbent upon you to read all the text presented here that relates to the particular edible wild mushroom species involved to ensure that you have effectively ruled out dangerous poisonous/toxic wild mushrooms. Hurriedly comparing wild mushroom specimens to photographs of known edible wild mushrooms in hopes of determining that they are indeed the edible species can readily be FATAL!
I strongly encourage anyone who wishes to consume edible wild mushrooms to be cynical about the identification process: Instead of trying to convince yourself that you have indeed found the edible wild mushroom species you hope they are, try to convince yourself that they do not accurately match the description and photos of those species. Keep in mind that especially with gilled edible wild mushrooms (which account for the vast majority of serious and minor mushroom poisoning cases), it is not a bad idea to wait until you have found the mushroom and its poisonous 'lookalikes' several times before you cook and eat it. Of course, if you really want to make things easy for yourself, order my best-selling book Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America: A Field-to-Kitchen Guide—the only truly authoritative, peer-reviewed, university-press-published book of its kind for North America.
Keep in mind that some of these pages include photographs of poisonous mushrooms which resemble edible wild mushroom species; again, reading the accompanying text and applying that information is absolutely vital to your safety!
Note that even with some of the best, safest, most popular edible wild mushroom species, it is possible for an individual human being to have an allergic reaction to a particular species. This happens with the grocery-store button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), it happens with edible wild morel mushrooms, and it happens with strawberries.
It is also possible for illness to result from consuming mushrooms that are decaying, contaminated by pollution, or otherwise not in good condition. Before perusing the section of this Webpage that presents photographs of and text about edible wild mushrooms (and some of their toxic "look-alikes"!), you must read "The Mycophagist's Ten Commandments," which explains several hazards and provides advice on how to avoid those hazards.
Most importantly, be doubtful and be skeptical: Use the mushroom's description to seek evidence that the mushroom you've found is NOT the edible wild mushroom species whose photograph it resembles!
–David Fischer, Author of Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America (1992, Univ. of Texas Press)
HEN OF THE WOODS (also known as MAITAKE, RAMSHEAD or SHEEPSHEAD MUSHROOM)
Scientific name: Grifola frondosa
BEAR'S HEAD TOOTH MUSHROOM and equally delectable sibling species
Scientific name: Hericium americanum, H. coralloides, H. erinaceus, etc.
GEM-STUDDED, PEAR-SHAPED, and GIANT PUFFBALLS
Scientific names: Lycoperdon perlatum, L. pyriforme, Langermannia gigantea and others
THE SULPHUR SHELF or CHICKEN MUSHROOM
Scientific name: Laetiporus sulphureus
THE SHAGGY MANE MUSHROOM
Scientific name: Coprinus comatus
THE YELLOW and BLACK MORELS
Scientific names: Morchella esculenta and M. elata
THE BLACK TRUMPET and HORN OF PLENTY Mushrooms
Scientific names: Craterellus fallax and C. cornucopioides
THE SWEET TOOTH or HEDGEHOG Mushroom
Scientific names: Hydnum repandum and H. umbilicatum
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