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What is your favorite mushroom to hunt?


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I know this is seasonally dependent. One of the first mushrooms I started gathering is still my favorite- Hydnum umbilicatum, the small hedgehog. I also love Hydnum repandum when I find it, it’s just not as common where I hunt.  They also taste fantastic!EC484107-1D1E-47CA-9CAE-912BA2BE7E0B.thumb.jpeg.10c88a55df9d1ea9275332bd7871b35d.jpeg

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Sooo hard to narrow them down to just one… COW and black trumpets are rare for me so get super excited when I do get them, honeys en masse are just thrilling but if it had to be anything, give me edulis under pines or in thick moss.  But I also like finding big puff balls, shaggy manes just right, morels right after that damned snow melts, chantrelles glowing on the forest floor, the orangey golden shine of lactarius near a river, hericium looking like white pom poms from a distance, give me slimey suillis, I’ll clean the suckers no problem… the list goes on and on 🙃

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Oysters are always a nice find, and among the most delicious. Chanterelles are the most exciting to stumble upon, because i find it hard to understand their habitat. Hedgehogs (H. repandum) are as good as chanterelles but almost too easy to find around here. 

Chicken of the woods can be fun to harvest, in a special way. Last time me and my S.O had to duct tape some sticks together into a 14 feet pole in order to poke it down in small pieces. 

The lazy part of me has a special liking for mushrooms growing in lawns, such as Agaricus spp, some Suillus spp, Marasmius oreades and parasols.

Sparassis crispa was a rush to find the one time i stumbled upon a few good enough specimens.

And also of course Boletus edulis, because it's so big and tasty. And also Lactarius deterrimus and L. deliciosus.

Ok, so basically all of them... Craterellus tubaeformis is probably the only one i don't particularly enjoy harvesting. It's too easy and they're so many. It quickly becomes a chore.

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  • 1 month later...

I love the oysters that were growing near here.  Unfortunately, the town thought the trees were a hazard and cut down all those mushroom trees. (Sob!)

This year, though, I was excited to find my first chicken of the woods, huge clumps, and managed to eat much and cook and freeze even more.

I'm on the lookout for hen of the woods (Mitake), because for me, those are the most delicious.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Amanita caesarea, AKA ovolo (egg) in Italian, but I have to go to Italy to find it. Challenging to spot as it rarely emerges from the duff. Usually you have to look for a "bump" to find it. It's a delicious mushroom and worth the aggravation of finding it.

Amanita caesarea, huevo de rey, Oronja, amanita de los césares

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Luigi, I rate them a 10. They are frequently eaten raw Screenshot_20211214-210407.thumb.jpg.c305bd73bb90a722b76585135c053ef5.jpg with arugula, parsley, a bit of garlic, a squeeze of lemon, and shaved parmigiano, dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper. In season, they gild the lily and add white truffle. They're also used in risottos and cooked as a side dish. I assume you mean Amanita jacksonii. Can't help you, I've never had it.

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Thanks for the response, fratello. :)

I’ve never eaten them raw (or coccora raw, either).

It’s a bit strange, but at least around here they are eaten mainly by the genovesi. The toscani are not into them as much.

They are my second favorite mushroom (behind porcini).

Not really sure what #3 is, TBH.

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Your coccora remind Italian Americans, who know both of the Caesar's, although people who've had both regard the Caesar's as superior in flavor.

I've had insalata de porcini and ovoli, both eaten raw and somtimes in combination! They use the button sized caps, not anything bigger.

You must be an experienced cacciatore de funghi to hunt coccora.  I've heard of people mistaking the Spring version for the death cap, Amanita phalloide, most notably Sam Sebastiani Jr. of Sebastiani Vineyards.

https://apnews.com/article/85dbb15b539f4de3519b55ef82acc24c

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  • 1 month later...

I like hunting morels for that 4 to 5 weeks that they fruit here in Pgh PA. They dry well. I grind them up and add them to gravy. There's at least 4 species here. Honey mushrooms are good. I had shaggy manes and loved them and another time they weren't as good. I just started finding Boletus chippewaensis last year and am looking forward to finding them this summer. I don't have the nerve to try an Amanita.

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On 10/17/2021 at 8:37 PM, Kevin Hoover said:

One of the first mushrooms I started gathering is still my favorite- Hydnum umbilicatum

Oh!  Hydnum umbilicatum!!!   They're more tasty than their more fleshy cousins H. repandum.  I think they might even be better than Chantrelles.  I used to live in Northern Canada and they were pretty common in wet mossy areas.  I don't think I've found them since I've moved further south, only regular Hedgehogs, which are pretty great too.   

My favourite for eating is Hericium coralloides because they're just so tasty and good.  This species is more delicate and branching than the other Hericium species.  My favourite for just finding are little Mycena, because they're beautiful.   Hard to identify, but I love them all the same, even if many go unidentified.  I guess I should give a shoutout to Mitrula, which are little cone shaped mushrooms with a tendency to grow in shallow water in wet areas, and Mitrula is my favourite genus name.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Someone mentioned shaggy manes.  My neighbor in back of me knows I hunt mushrooms and will contact my wife when he sees some.  Late last summer he sent her a message that he had mushrooms coming up. “Some look like rockets and others look like umbrellas with black drops falling off them”.

I went back, and found a nice patch of shaggy manes, some too far gone (the umbrellas) but the “rockets” were prime.  I offered them to him and told him how to cook them, but he didn’t want them.

The time before that, when I went back it was a patch of Boletus seperans under his oak tree.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite to hunt and find are morels because I never find very many. Really challenging. My favorite to eat is Maitake. Of course they're fun to hunt too but hard to find. Some of the trees where I found them in 2018 haven't produced since.

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