We all enjoy the meaty texture and woody flavors of mushrooms in our meals. Mushrooms grow in the forest in the damp soil and in-between large trees and bushes. Foraging for mushrooms is a challenging task. It demands a mushroom hunter to be patient and persistent. Every spring, many people plan to hunt the edible mushrooms in the forests by themselves. They take up this challenge because it is their hobby or professional necessity. Mushrooms are an ultimate substitute for meat and enhance the flavors of meals. They also protect against cancers and grave chronic diseases.
Once you step out for foraging for mushrooms and you fall in love with this refreshing activity. The mushroom hunter gets to explore the nature and handful of fresh mushrooms for their meals. Are you new to foraging? Do you want to give it a try? Read this article and know foraging is and what you must seek in the wild. Let’s start the article.
What are the characteristics of the mushroom hunter?
Before stepping out in the wild, one must be well-prepared and know exactly what grows in the bushes. You must have a basic working knowledge of the forests, the weather, and the trees. You must also know where you will find the mushrooms that you desire to hunt and when. For example, to hunt the Morels, you must look for them in the coldest regions and near the dead trees. Hunting for mushrooms can test your patience, and your persistent efforts are a must.
There is another important factor to consider before going to the forests. There exist around 2,000 species, but not all are edible. You may stumble upon poisonous mushrooms as well. These mushrooms may look like edible ones but are much deadly. It is hard to spot the differences. One must be thoughtful before picking the mushrooms to avoid any unpleasant incident. Cut open a morel and see if it is hollow from inside. If not, then you have found the False morels. Jack O’ Lantern mushrooms look like Chanterelles. The difference between the two is that Jack O’Lantern grows in clusters, but Chanterelles don’t. Learn about the characteristics of poisonous and edible fungus to pick the right mushrooms. The details of poisonous and edible mushrooms are as following;
You can identify the poisonous mushrooms with the bitter taste. If you think that you have tasted a poisonous mushroom, then spit it all out and rinse your mouth with water. Seek the nearest medical aid to start the treatment as soon as you can. It is quite unfortunate that many poisonous species don’t taste bitter. You can differentiate them through the broken membranes or strands on the stems. The common poisonous mushrooms are;
1. Death cap: It is deadly poisonous and can be fatal when ingested. It can damage the liver and kidney functions. These do not only grow in the forest but the urban localities and suburbs as well. You can identify them with a wide silver cap attached to a white stem.
2. Destroying Angels mushrooms: The white-coloured stem of these lethal mushrooms is narrow. You will find stem full of gills and the cap also in white color. Its poison starts damaging the liver and kidney functions within a few hours of ingestion.
The hot-picks of mushroom hunters are flavorful Morels, Portabellas, White buttons, Creminis, or Truffles. These all mushrooms mature at different periods. Truffles are a bit hard to locate, and you can sell them for an ample amount of money if you want. A lot of these ushrooms also have many health benefits especially the Morels.
Foraging for mushrooms can be fun but frustrating and tiring at the same time. You can either take a guide with you in the forest or search thoroughly before going into the forests. Otherwise, your efforts will go in vain. Learn for the differences between poisonous and edible mushrooms to be on the safe side. As it is a matter of life and death, so you must be careful.