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Couple of odd ones.


ChefsWild
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All in Chapel Hill NC, mixed hardwoods, predominantly oak with some pine.

These had slimy tops. Skin peeled easily. Odor and taste mild and pleasant.

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This one had a scaly looking top.

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And this one looked very hedgehog-like from the top, but had gills.

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First two are Hygrophorus species. Top photo shows granules on the stipe, which points toward H. chrysodon. Mushroom Expert says there should be yellow granules along the cap margin for this species, but I still think this species ID fits. Second photo may be the same species. There are other white Hygrophorus species have yellow mixed in, for instance H. flavodiscus. Conifer associates. H. flavodiscus associates with white pine.

Third/fourth photos... I think a species of Cystoderma. Stipe is often sheathed in a scaly coating, but this may erode as the mushroom ages. These types are conifer associates. White spores.

Last photo is Cuphophyllus pratensis (= Hygrocybe preatensis = Hygrophorus pratensis = Camarophyllus pratensis... depending upon the age of your filed guide. One of many mushroom species having suffered through an identity crisis these past 20 years. Usually found growing in open areas.

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The slimy hygro's have been popping up around here quite a bit for the last few weeks. Even the frosts don't seem to hinder it. Are any of them actually edible? And did these guys used to be in the waxy caps catagory? Def. unpleasant slime, kudos for trudging through that one chef. The slime can really be like human mucas. For years I just wrote them off as "whatever waxy caps" but eventually gave in and accepted them for what they are. Great to look at, unpleasant to touch.

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Hygrophorus flavodiscus is edible. Some people say they like it. I have eaten them a few times. The effort necessary to render them relatively slime-free is IMO not worth it. H. fuligineus is a little better, which is not saying much. Adding them to a dish which hides the sliminess works best. I used to run into this guy who hunted H. fuligineus almost exclusively. He said he put them into tomato sauce. "Waxy Caps" is a common generalization which includes mushrooms from genera Hygrophorus, Hygrocybe, Cuphophyllus, Gliophorus, and Camarophyllus (which I'm not actually sure is still a valid genus name). Not too long ago most of the mushroom species spread across these genera were placed into Hygrophorus. Hygrophorus russula is a decent edible; it isn't slimy.

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If I was going to eat them - I didn't, with this collection - I would probably want to dry them first or use them in a way that either took advantage of their sliminess or nullified it. Dredging in seasoned flour and deep frying eliminates sliminess from Suillus; it might do the same for these guys. I would also try vinegar and salt scrubbing then parboiling. Or toss'em in a gumbo or a pate where they become a binding agent.

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Sounds good. There are some pale/yellow Hygrophorus to avoid. Names are not coming to me right now, but the suspect ones have strong oily odors. H. flavodiscus is pretty easy to recognize once you've seen it a few times. C. pratensis is a good edible that requires no special treatment.

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