I spied a mushroom when I was out walking with friends a few days ago. Yesterday I called up a friend of mine who knows how to identify mushrooms and invited her over for dinner and a forest mushroom hunt. So first we had a fabulous supper of mostly our own produce(!), some local chocolates for desert, and then we went on a little adventure to find the mushroom.
These aren't my photos...I forgot to bring my camera. We identified the mushroom as 'Agaricus augustus', commonly called the Prince mushroom. It is very rare, except on the west coast and islands. It is also one of the few summer sprouting mushrooms (which was why I noticed it in the first place - how odd for a mushroom to sprout in early June!). They are entirely edible. Our little mushroom book says," Very edible! One of the best!"
There were only three mushrooms, so, like responsible mushroomers, we only picked one (the second rule of mushrooming is never to pick more than 1/3 of any crop). And we took it home, sliced it up, sauteed it in butter and white wine. I wish I had taken photos. Oh well. Hopefully there will be many more later this summer! As for the edibility....I can honestly say I have never eaten such a delicious mushroom! My first thought was that it tasted like cheese toast (isn't that bizarre?). It was nutty, creamy, and sweet. One of the identifiers of this mushroom is that it smells like almond extract, and does it ever! There was a residual almondy-ness after it was cooked. It cooked up to be quite yellow. If I can find enough, I will make cream of mushroom soup....I think these mushrooms would make THE best. It puts grocery store mushrooms to shame.
We scoured the forest floor for nearly an hour last night but couldn't find any more. Sigh. I sure hope we can find more. In the meantime, I think I might be forming an unnatural addiction to my mushroom book.
4 days ago