18 December 2009

A Foraging We Will Go, Mushroom Hunting in Oregon

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are lucky to have such lovely forests, as I mentioned in an early post, I found a mushroom hunter from Eugene, OR - who was interested in guest posting here on Renaissance Culinaire. Please note the orange icons with skull & cross bones, these reference poisonous or un-edible species of mushroom. Here is his post:

Hello, chanterelle hunters! The problem with yellow footed Chanterelles (Hygrophoropsis aurantiacaW) is that when they are plentiful, the price falls.

Everyone with a vehicle is suddenly a Chanterelle hunter. Get 'em while you can, because soon you will not see a chanterelle until next fall. I love hunting chanterelles, but making money with them is hard. When Chanterelles are abundant, more people go picking and the price drops.

For me, mushrooming is not about money. It is about finding those perfect beautiful patches in the forest. Hunting is about finding one chanterelle and then looking around and seeing a hundred more chanterelles. It is a beautiful sight. Hunting is about getting our side in the rain and being active. There are easier pickings in the mushroom patch than chanterelles, but this takes more knowledge.

 In the fall, what  I go after is the Common Meadow Mushroom (Agaricus campestris W -) that grow on lawns and fields. Meadow mushrooms are abundant between rains when the soil humus takes off.

(photo right - credit Lee Norris)

The Meadow Mushroom is listed as choice by the National Autobahn Field manual. The manual says that they grow in late August and September, but I have found meadow mushrooms much later in the season in late September throughout October.

The National Autobahn manual does not say anything about meadow mushrooms growing in rings, but I have seen them growing that way.

Do not confuse the Meadow Mushroom with California Agaricus (Agaricus californicus). Both are similar in appearance but California Agaricus will make you sick.

 (On  left Photo by Lee Norris; Right, Photo  Credit © Fred Stevens)

As you look at the two pictures, the left has older  California Agaricus mushrooms and the picture on the right features a  younger version of California Agaricus - this species  has a very noticible identifier - a ring (looks kind of like a skirt) higher on the stalk (which may appear broken or ragged as the mushroom matures), this is the best indication as to what variety they are. The Meadow Mushroom has a half ring, faint ring or even no ring, where the California Agaricus' ring is much fuller.

The Felt Ring Agaricus (Agaricus hondensis Murr),Yellow-foot Agaricus(Agaricus xanthodermusW)and Western Flat-topped Agaricus(Agaricus meleagris) are other species confusable with the Meadow Mushroom that are poisonous.

Sometimes mushrooms can be identified by the odor, feel and even the mass. Some grow on in fields and lawns and others only in wooded areas. If you go out and identify, you will get to know what they are.

(photo credit Wikipedia)

I like Waxy Caps. (see: Hygrophorus Agaricales W, Hygrocybe coccinea, Hygrophorus chrysodon, Hygrophorus occidentalis). Waxy caps favor colder weather and grow much later in the season. Waxy caps have a slimy cap to the touch and there is no other species confusable with the same cap. Waxy caps are not too tasty, but waxy caps kill my appetite and are good for weight loss. I like to cut up a few waxy caps and put them in scrambled eggs in the morning. I can go until supper without feeling hungry.

(photo credit Wikipedia)

Slippery Jacks (Suillus luteusW) are edible, but their appearance in the field is unappetizing. Slippery Jacks grow mainly later in the season when it is cold and wet. I always think that I will build a dryer and dry a lot of them because they are so abundant. The manual says that you can get diarrhea from eating the slime on the cap, so it is best to peel the skin off after they are dried. I have put dried Slippery Jacks in meatloaf, and they have a sweet taste.

Bon appetite, But do not believe anything I say about wild mushrooms. This article is not meant as a field guide and do not trust anyone else’s word for identification. Years ago, a knowledgeable mushroom hunter died in Eugene. He did so because he trusted the identification ability of one of his students. The student was a knowledgeable hunter who got a   Destroying Angel, a.k.a Death Cap (Amanitaceae Agaricales see: Amanita phalloides , Amanita virosa ) ,a very poisonous species, confused with a Western Lawn Puffball, which is edible. He did not check out what he was eating.

“Know thy mushrooms for thyself!” There are people that know what they are doing with mushrooms but there are also many that think they do. Research your wild mushrooms for yourself, and leave alone what you do not know.

This brings me to the second axiom of mushroom hunting. You can generally trust field manual like the Autobahn Society, for what mushrooms are edible. I say generally but not always. For example, many people really like the Yellow Footed Chanterelle. I am a person that can not eat Chanterelles. If I eat Chanterelles, they will likely come right back up. Go slow with any wild food that you do not know.

By Lee Norris*

Lee Norris can be found contributing on http://www.stimulusbike.com/ and on Helium. His personal website - Sadlebutts Corner is a cycling website.

For More Info On Forgaging - Check Out These Great Guides:
*This article has been edited, formatted and embelished with links & additional pictures by Renaissance Culinaire's Owner. All text & photos, copyright stays with the respective author(s) .



4:32 AM, December 20, 2009 Reply  

Wow! Beautiful mushrooms!

8:01 PM, December 20, 2009 Reply  

thank you for information...

1:10 AM, December 21, 2009 Reply  

Interesting post. I have known about the complete details about mushrooms by reading this post.They are beautiful and also some of them dangerous.I like the pictures you have given.

6:52 AM, December 21, 2009 Reply  

Thanks for sharing sir!

9:21 PM, December 21, 2009 Reply  

Eventhough it's life time is short, it's very healthy plant

12:16 PM, December 22, 2009 Reply  

Wow this really helped me to undestand a little about mushrooms. I knew that eating the wrong one could be a great mistake. thanks for the info, Andy

5:28 AM, December 23, 2009 Reply  

Thanks for sharing such nice information

5:57 AM, December 23, 2009 Reply  

I didn't knew that some mushrooms are dangerous and that too it also has an odor.....

7:37 AM, December 23, 2009 Reply  

I like to eat mushrooms...i love them very much they are so tasty... i don't know all this things about it....

11:36 PM, December 23, 2009 Reply  

I have read some where that these mushrooms are good for health, Thanks for sharing this useful information.

3:29 AM, December 24, 2009 Reply  

I have never tasted Mushrooms in my entire life, but I have heard they are too much tasty.

9:36 AM, December 24, 2009 Reply  

Thanks for posting blog. It contains really valuable info. about mushrooms. Thanks again for posting :)

12:29 AM, December 26, 2009 Reply  

Mushrooms are beautiful and also some of them dangerous.I like the pictures you have given. Thanks

10:49 AM, December 26, 2009 Reply  

In Romania there are some forests are not as worldwide. We and mushrooms as Armilaria, Buletus. ect. You need to visit and Romania.

11:20 AM, December 26, 2009 Reply  

i love mushrooms so much
very tasty
thanks for sharing with your loyal readers :)

2:15 PM, December 27, 2009 Reply  

I LOVE mushroom hunting, but haven't been brave enough to try anything other than morels (of course, the most finicky to find!) I just can't tell them apart well enough to risk it...

9:52 PM, December 27, 2009 Reply  

This post about mushrooms reminds me of several stories my father told me about the Woodstock days back in the sixties. Some people used to "experiment" with psychotropic stuff. Mushrooms were very popular among the hippie community. I am not sure about side effects but many times, the wrong selection of a particular variety caused death. Thanks for the post!

4:51 PM, December 28, 2009 Reply  

OMG.. Great Information about mushrooms, i really love it. Cause my mom give me mushrooms some time. Hums..its so delicious. When i was a young boy, i can not separate between mushrooms and cuttle. Because my tongue taste it same. LOL. Now, after read your article i can separate between dangerous mushrooms and not too.

9:37 AM, December 29, 2009 Reply  

Interesting post. I love mushrooms but have always been so cautious of picking them out in the wild. But good advice about using a proper guide to pick them as people have died from incorrect categorization.

10:58 PM, December 29, 2009 Reply  

I can say lot of guys here like to eat the Mushrooms. but I never tasted Mushrooms. Oooops

12:08 AM, December 30, 2009 Reply  

I have heard that Mushrooms have the good taste. But never get a chance to try Mushrooms.

1:16 AM, December 30, 2009 Reply  

Mushrooms are so tasty i just love to eat it and thanks a lot for your post because i have never ever seen so many types of mushroom thanks to your post..

4:28 AM, December 30, 2009 Reply  

Very interesting post. I love to eat mushrooms but they are dangerous too. people who love to eat mushrooms must know the full details about it.Posts like this will really help.Thanks for sharing.

4:33 AM, December 30, 2009 Reply  

good post...very informative..thanks for sharing

3:29 PM, December 30, 2009 Reply  

I've always been a bit to scared to try mushroom hunting. I've heard too many stories about people getting the wrong kind and becoming ill or dying.

12:29 AM, December 31, 2009 Reply  

Yumm!! mushroom i just love mushroom its really so tasty to eat good post thanks.

9:03 AM, December 31, 2009 Reply  

Excellent article. When I was a little kid I lived in the county where the forest was pretty untouched. We used to go mushroom hunting in the summer and would come back with a couple buckets of mushrooms of several varieties. I didn't know anything about which mushrooms were edible at the time, but my grandparents were experienced mushroom hunters so we always had a good time and never got sick from them.

4:21 PM, January 01, 2010 Reply  

nice, love the ones that we have in Norway, really good:)

6:18 PM, January 01, 2010 Reply  

I have often think if it was dangerous to eat mushrooms,because i dont understand to choose good mushrooms

9:35 PM, January 01, 2010 Reply  

There are manifold of the mushrooms and all really very stunning and looking beautiful.

2:51 AM, January 04, 2010 Reply  

Mushrooms have good protein value and it is good for health.It also work as a antibiotic substance.

2:56 AM, January 04, 2010 Reply  

Mushrooms are the delicious food.wow..

2:58 AM, January 04, 2010 Reply  

Mushrooms is good for cardiac patients.It contents amino protein which helps to protect cardiac arrest.

6:01 AM, January 04, 2010 Reply  

I love mushrooms -great food value too

1:55 AM, January 05, 2010 Reply  

I love eating mushrooms, but I didn't know that there were so many kinds of it. Thank you so much for the information.

3:19 AM, January 05, 2010 Reply  

thanks for the mushroom information.

10:51 PM, January 05, 2010 Reply  

Can some one tell me here that, in which continent the Mushrooms are mostly found.

2:28 PM, January 06, 2010 Reply  

I was very impressed and felt had to get a valuable experience after reading your article. I will learn more and I'll try to implement. thanks for sharing

9:28 PM, January 06, 2010 Reply  

this precise information on mushrooms is really great. keep posting.

10:53 PM, January 06, 2010 Reply  

I also love to eat mushrooms. You can often see muchrooms in decayed wood.

5:05 PM, January 07, 2010 Reply  

Oh man, waxy caps. I used those as a diet aid myself once upon a time - you're right, they do knock your appetite right out of the park.

10:04 PM, January 07, 2010 Reply  

I have never like the taste of mushrooms. Also, for some reason these pictures remind me of Super Marios because I was just playing Mario Galaxy today :) and there are lots of mushrooms.

1:02 PM, February 22, 2010 Reply  

Ya I never eat mushrooms either because they can be super dangerous, so I just buy them at the store if i do anything at all.

2:16 PM, March 02, 2010 Reply  

Mushroom hunting! How cool. My friend and I often go gold panning in southern California, but this sounds like even more fun. I'd love to go tromping through the wilderness looking for edible treasures. Awesome.

10:22 AM, March 07, 2010 Reply  

I like very much for posting this article.good job !

7:50 AM, March 31, 2010 Reply  

Whenever am woodside or backyard (we have a hill n lil forest around) I found mushrooms and most of the time I think they are bad based on colors. I always thought white ones are good and colored ones are bad. To certain extent am right say most of the times I found California Agaricus and is bad.
Granny always good in finding the good ones and hope I learnt a bit from her and also here...

10:04 PM, April 01, 2010 Reply  

white button mushroom is always easy to make artificially in the lab environmental conditions.

5:41 PM, April 13, 2010 Reply  

I've always been weary of mushroom hunting, because of the possiblity of toxic mushrooms.

10:21 AM, April 15, 2010 Reply  

I use mushrooms in a lot of my recipes. I'd like to learn how to grow them at home rather than buying them, Does anyone have some good info or links?

4:05 AM, April 30, 2010 Reply  

frying Mushrooms are the delicious one, i love to eat it

6:58 AM, May 06, 2010 Reply  

Take your time, I may spend an hour in an area the size of a football field if I have found them there the year before.

3:53 AM, May 28, 2010 Reply  

Commercial mushroom collecting permits vary from forest to forest and so do the seasons.

7:59 AM, May 28, 2010 Reply  

I love cooking..and one of the best ingredients is mushroom but beware of it because not all mushroom are edible some are poisonous. I enjoy reading the post, thanks and keep on posting:)

9:57 AM, June 01, 2010 Reply  

I've always been a bit to scared to try mushroom hunting. I've heard too many stories about people getting the wrong kind and becoming ill or dying.

4:37 AM, June 04, 2010 Reply  

We alway use to hunt shrooms when camping in autumn. Did you know that fly agaric (amanita muscaria) is not poisonous anymore, when dried or cooked for a long time?!

5:13 AM, June 08, 2010 Reply  

Very nice post. I love Mushrooms becoz its really tasty and full of vitamins and minerals. I'm from India and we also growing such wonderful Veg.
I think its the better option for those who are vegetarian.

7:04 AM, June 12, 2010 Reply  

I got interested in mushroom hunting through the writings of John Cage.

1:54 AM, July 11, 2010 Reply  

All the mushroom pics are really looking very pretty. You are luck that you have seen it in forests of Pacific Northwest because it is not easy to find it.

10:42 PM, July 18, 2010 Reply  

I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith.

9:24 AM, July 23, 2010 Reply  

Keep updating good content, I’ll just subscribe to the feed.

1:24 PM, July 25, 2010 Reply  

Mushrooms on anything always serves for a fantastic recipe!

12:32 AM, July 27, 2010 Reply  

I suggest this site to my friends so it could be useful & informative for them also. Great effort.

5:44 AM, September 15, 2010 Reply  

I love your blogs...they are so informative!

6:13 AM, October 14, 2010 Reply  

Interesting post. I have known about the complete details about mushrooms by reading this post.They are beautiful and also some of them dangerous.I like the pictures you have given.

1:40 AM, December 16, 2010 Reply  

Informative updates loved to have an regular visits

10:36 AM, December 22, 2010 Reply  

This is such a wonderful site that will provide everything there is to learn. Keep your posts coming, and continue being a source of joy to readers

10:38 AM, December 22, 2010 Reply  

Nice Post, Keep it up

12:28 AM, January 03, 2011 Reply  

thats important to know which mushroom is not poisonous. nice that you disclosed all the information regarding them.

4:55 PM, February 17, 2011 Reply  

I have never tasted Mushrooms in my entire life, but I have heard they are too much tasty.

12:36 AM, March 03, 2011 Reply  

I must say that fungus never looked so pretty :)

5:29 AM, March 30, 2011 Reply  

Some of those mushrooms are beautiful. I never was one to like the taste, but I did enjoy reading the post!

4:14 AM, May 06, 2011 Reply  

Wow, those are some amazing variety of mushrooms. The yellow one does looks really exotic and has a different design from most I have seen. Also, I never knew that someone can die from eating a mushroom ! Nice blog.

11:04 AM, June 04, 2011 Reply  

Nice information. Thanks

This is an awesome post, and you chose great topics for all of your posts in the blog. It has been a nice experience visiting your blog and I would like to return here for more new articles.

1:20 AM, August 22, 2011 Reply  

Lovely post about Mashrooms,have you done a extensive research?

Wow. Those look great. Cooked I bet they taste divine.

7:16 AM, November 24, 2011 Reply  

I love, love , love the chanterelles. The taste is simply awesome, the texture is amazing, and there is no comparison between these delicious mushrooms and the champignons. But unfortunately no more chanterelle in the forests...

10:28 PM, May 09, 2012 Reply  

Good work…unique site and interesting too… keep it up…looking forward for more updates.

2:56 AM, June 07, 2012 Reply  

It was a awe-inspiring post and it has a significant meaning and thanks for sharing the information.Would love to read your next post too.

3:02 PM, July 10, 2012 Reply  

Just reminded me of when I was young and we use to go mushroom hunting in Africa. We will all get so excited whenever we found a really big one. Good times.

4:08 PM, June 27, 2015 Reply  

I also went mushroom hunting with my Dad as a child. Fond memories. It's very important to distinguish between edible and toxic mushrooms. Great article.

10:57 AM, July 06, 2015 Reply  

Mushrooms are very versatile - from uses in the culinary world to their medicinal properties. Learning about mushrooms and distinguishing what is edible and what is not is very important.

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