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Top 10 edible wild mushrooms

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Guest Vlad

To show the difference in taste it would be interesting to see what different people consider the ten best tasting wild mushrooms. My list of choice mushrooms consists of 17 species.

http://www.mushroomhunter.net/found.htm

If I had to trim this list to my top 10, they would be:

1. Two-colored Bolete - Boletus bicolor

2. Hen of the Woods - Grifola frondosa

3. Aborted Entoloma - Entoloma abortivum

4. Lobster Mushroom - Hypomyces lactifluorum

5. King Bolete Boletus - edulis

6. Shaggy Mane - Coprinus comatus

7. Honey Mushroom - Armillaria mellea

8. The Gypsy - Rozites caperata

9. Oak King - Boletus variipes

10. Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria var. formosa

What is your top 10?

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This is for eating fresh, not dried and reconstituted

1. Morchella conica (black fire morels)

2. Tuber oregonense (Oregon winter white truffle or Tuber gibbosum Oregon spring white truffle)

3 Boletus edulis (king bolete)

4. Russula xerampelina (shrimp russula)

5. Craterellus cornucopioides (black trumpet) and Cantherellus cibarius

6. Grifola frondosa

7. Hericium species

8. Ramaria botrytis (pink tipped coral)

9. Pleurotus ostreatus

10. Agaricus campestris or bitorquis

This list will definitely differ from one geographic region to another given availability of mushrooms

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1. Lepiota procera.......cut in 1/4's battered and deep fried

2. Morchella esculenta...floured and fried in oleo ( butter burns too quick ) & Stuffed with crab, battered and deep fried

3. Boletus edulis........sauted in butter

4. Coprinus comatus......sauted in butter & battered and deep fried

5. Marismius oreades.....sauted in a cream sauce & served over Flaky biscuts

6. Laetiporus semialbinus & sulphureus .... seasoned like chicken, floured and deep fried

7. Cantharellus cibarius....chanterelle & cheese pizza

8. Armillariella mellea.....Chop suey & sauted, on a steak

9. Entoloma abortivum ( aborted )....sliced, battered, deep fried and dipped in cocktail sauce

10. Tricholoma terreum....sauted, on a steak

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1. Morchella species

2. Boletus species (edulis, "Zeller's" and mirabilus)

3. Marasmius oreades

4. Herecium coraloides

5. chanterelle

6. hedgehog

7. oyster

8. Armillaria mellea (honey)

9. Coprinus comatus (shaggy mane)

10. matsutake

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1. morels

2. Boletus edulis and related types

3. chanterelles

4. Grifola

5. Armillaria mellea and related types

6. Blewits

7. Black Trumpets

8. Oysters

9. Agaricus arvensis... and A. augustus (which is uncommon here)

10. Lactarius deliciosus types

My choices are based partly on being able to collect usable amounts of any particular type. For instance, I really like Russula xerampelina, but I hardly ever find more than 4 or 5 of any of the xerampelina types. Also, storability/shelf-life is a consideration.

Vlad, do you like the Entoloma abortivum mushroom, or the aborted form? Did you know that the aborted forms are actually parisitized fruit bodies of Armillaria?

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1. Morels

2. Hedgehogs

3. Shaggy Parasols

4. Chanterelles (White first)

5. Winter Chanterelle (Craterellus tubaeformis)

6. Lobster Mushroom

7. Boletus edulis

8. Russula xerampelina

9. Cauliflower (Sparassis radicata)

10. American Matsutake

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Guest Vlad

Dave,

You ask “Vlad, do you like the Entoloma abortivum mushroom, or the aborted form? Did you know that the aborted forms are actually parasitized fruit bodies of Armillaria?”

I like the parasitized Honey Mushroom glob better. I have eaten the un parasitized fruit when found growing by the parasitized but prefer the globs. Mushroom expert explains the mycological confusion best.

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/entoloma_abortivum.html

This story reminds me of the Abbot and Costello skit of “who is on first?” :rolleyes:

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Guest Vlad

I chose my 10 best edible mushrooms without regard to how I prepare them. Some I eat fresh, while others I start by drying, like Maitake. Fly Agaric needs to be detoxified first, so I boil it and throw away the water. The list will depend on what mushrooms are plentiful in your area, that is assumed. I think that such a list is very helpful to people who are just starting out. It is much easier to look for a specific specie than to try to ID every mushroom you find and then determine if it is edible. That is why I started my web site. Visitors can check my Mushroom Log and find out what specie of mushroom is fruiting in my area at any particular time of the year.

As an example. I wound up eating the Gypsy for the first time when a Russian friend sent me a message that the Gypsy was fruiting on Cape Cod. He did not give a specific location. Up to that time I never found the Gypsy. I looked up the mushroom in a mushroom guide and memorized its description, then I set off for Cape Cod. I had to look in several locations but I found it. I still have not found it off Cape Cod.

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1. Tuber magnatum (Italian white truffle)

2. Amanita caesarea (Caesar's Amanita) the true, European one

3. Boletus edulis and related species

4. Morchella esculenta

5. Craterellus cornucopioides (Black trumpet)and Canterellus cibarius (Chanterelle)

6. Hydnum Repandum (Hedgehog)

7. Chlorophyllum rhacodes (Shaggy parasol)

8. Grifola frondosa (Hen of the woods)

9. Hericium species

10.Blewits

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I like doing these, makes me think about what I like about each edible i have tried.

1. Black Morels (for taste)

1. Yellow Morels (for the fun i have hunting them) }top 3 are tied in my opinion

1. Chanterelles (for their Versitility in food)

4. King Bolete

5. Black trumpet

6. Chicken of the Woods

7. shaggy Mane

8. Hen of the woods

9. Scabber Stalks

10.Oysters

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Guest Vlad

Tasso,

It looks like you do some of your mushrooming in Italy? If this is so, how do you rate the Italian King Bolete as compared to what you find in Illinois?

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Tasso,

It looks like you do some of your mushrooming in Italy? If this is so, how do you rate the Italian King Bolete as compared to what you find in Illinois?

Vlad,

I'm sorry, I can't answer your question. To my knowledge, nobody has ever found King boletes in Illinois. For whatever reason, they just don't grow here. I know they are nearby in Wisconsin and Michigan, but I haven't had a chance to hunt them there. Sadly, my experience with Kings is only with those I have found and eaten in Italy.

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Guest Vlad

Tasso/Luigi,

Aha, foiled again by the wile mushroom! I am curious if the European King tastes better than our version. I corresponded with a Russian who hunted mushrooms in Leningrad and he said that the Russian King had a better aroma and taste than the one that grows in Massachusetts but he said the Bicolor Bolete tastes about as good as the King in Russia. I wonder if it is a matter of what you are used to. My parents thought that the American potatoes tasted funny when they first tasted them.

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Tasso/Luigi,

Aha, foiled again by the wile mushroom! I am curious if the European King tastes better than our version. I corresponded with a Russian who hunted mushrooms in Leningrad and he said that the Russian King had a better aroma and taste than the one that grows in Massachusetts but he said the Bicolor Bolete tastes about as good as the King in Russia. I wonder if it is a matter of what you are used to. My parents thought that the American potatoes tasted funny when they first tasted them.

Vlad,

My relatives who have come here (with 1 exception) have all said that our porcini taste better. I agree. I will say that I have had porcini here from different areas, and the flavor is different, though...some spots produce better tasting porcini. At least to me.

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I'm a newbie and I've only eaten 11 species that I've found (and 3 of them are puffballs!) plus several of them only once or twice so it's hard to judge... but for the sake of contributing here's how I rank my short list. Hen of the woods for example is very popular but I've only found one and it was a little on the old side and it wasn't great - hence my low score for it. Sorry - no latin names here - I'd just butcher them anyway:

1) honey mushroom

2) blewit

3) chicken mushroom

4) oyster

5) meadow

6) bear's head tooth

7) gem studded puffball/pear shaped puff ball

8) late fall oyster

9) giant puffball

10) hen of the woods

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Guest Vlad

Luigi,

That is good news. I hear so many people praise European mushrooms that it is hard to believe that some of ours are not better tasting than theirs. The thing about CA mushrooms is that they are in an eco system of their own. So many of the CA mushrooms do not grow here in the East, while others are just different specie entirely. I am pretty sure that by the time DNA people get done all CA wild mushrooms will be considered a different specie from those to the east of the Rockies.

Taste is such a personal thing. Most people like Chanterelles but to me they are tasteless. Most Russians love Chanterelles but my Russian friends also find them tasteless. It is not right or wrong but just a matter of a difference in taste.

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1. Porcini

2. Manzanita

3. Agaricus

4/5. Amanita

4/5. Morel

7. Coral (diate)

8. Orecchiette (Oyster)

9. Chiodini (honey)

10. Chanterelle

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1. Morels

2. Porcini

3. M. procera & L. americanus

4. Grifola frondosa

5. Hydnum repandum, etc.

6. Hericium erinaceus, etc.

7. Chanterelles

8. Lobsters

9. Laetiporus cinnabarinus & sulphureus

10. Shaggy manes

Kinda hard to keep it down to ten ... pretty much in order.

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I had a few minutes to kill so if you're interested here are your collective top ten weighted rankings. I lumped some entries together into broader groups for simplicity's sake. Weighting was done first by number of inculsions in top 10 lists and then by average rank. Enjoy:

Weighted Top Ten

1. Morels

2. King Bolete

3. Hen of the woods

Tie: 4-5. Misc. Boletus

Tie: 4-5. chanterelles

6. Honey

7. Oyster

8. Shaggy Mane

9. Shaggy Parasols

10. Tie: Hedgehog/Amanita

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upsinker - thanks, that's really cool. There are a couple on that list I've never tried. I've found shaggy parasol before but they were either too old or I was travelling and didn't have a chance to cook. I've never found hens before but I'll have to make sure I can make a positive ID if I ever do. I see amanita muscaria around here quite often but I'm still not so sure I'm going to try one.

The compiled top-ten probably does a disservice to mushrooms like matsutake, that are only found in certain parts of the U.S. But if it were ranked very high on all the Western lists, it would probably show up and it wasn't.

Another interesting thing to look at are those that are not on most lists, such as puffballs and sulfur shelf. Is this a collective "meh?" Not many agaricus mentions either - I haven't been certain enough of ID in the past, so I've never tried any wild agaricus varieties. Is that why it doesn't appear on most lists?

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That's one of the funny things about weighting the rankings - it pushes some low scorers higher on the list while it pushes some high scores lower down... for example Shaggy Parasol had a higher average rank (4) but was included on only 3 lists compared to Chanterelles and Hen of the Woods which both had lower average ranks (5 and 6) but were included on more lists (8 and 7).

In my weighting overall inclusion counted higher than average rating - thus Chanterelles and Hens appeared before Parasols even though it seems that Parasols get a higher average rating.

There are so many variables to consider it's hard to say that my collective top ten really means anything - after all what it really comes down to is your personal tastes. But it is a neat way of looking at a group or responses. I think you're right that geography and ease of identification are going to be big factors here.

By the way - since you brought it up I took another look at my numbers and realized I made a mistake - here are the corrected numbers:

(Corrected) Weighted Top Ten

1. Morels

2. King Bolete

3. Chanterelles

4. Hen of the woods

5. Misc. Boletus

6. honey

7. Oyster

8. Shaggy Mane

9. Shaggy Parasols

10. Tie: Hedgehog/Amanita

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Luigi,

The mushroom guides rate Hericium erinaceus as Choice. It does grow in CA and PNW as shown here:

http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/observation_search?pattern=Hericium+erinaceus

I found it only once and ate it but it was long ago that I forgot how I liked it :D

I count about four lists that have it listed in their top 10.

Grazie, Vlad.

I think I may try to grow it. I have never seen it "in the wild".

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Luigi,

The mushroom guides rate Hericium erinaceus as Choice. It does grow in CA and PNW as shown here:

http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/observation_search?pattern=Hericium+erinaceus

I found it only once and ate it but it was long ago that I forgot how I liked it :D

I count about four lists that have it listed in their top 10.

I'm one of the ones who listed it. The one I've tried is Herecium corraloides (short spines). I found a down tree with fruiting Herecium years ago and I've gone back and found it there every year. This fall, I went back and found that the tree is almost gone. But the good news is that it has spread to a fresh (dead) tree, so I'll be sure to keep finding it for years to come, unless someone else stumbles on to my spot (it's close to a very popular trail).

p.s. I posted a pic in the "10 most amazing mushrooms?" thread.

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