Do you like eating delicious mushrooms? But do you know how to get them in the wild? Looking for mushrooms can be a fun experience if you know how to do it. If you want to try foraging for mushrooms on your own, then know that it can be quite challenging. Nevertheless, you will harvest with sumptuous mushrooms that you can enjoy after a long day of foraging. Be prepared to be persistent and patient when looking for mushrooms. Here’s how you can do it.
What to Know Before You Forage for Mushrooms
One of the first things about foraging for mushrooms is that you should have ample knowledge about what it is that you’re looking for and complete foraging mushroom kits. It means that you should know the environment where the mushroom grows so that you can easily spot them.
For example, if you want to forage for morels, you should look for them in the areas where there are dead trees. Please do this in springtime, and you’re sure to find plenty of them. You must forage for mushrooms at a good time and spot the right places to look for mushrooms.
Of course, it’s not going to be easy all the time, so be patient and remain persistent in looking for delicious mushrooms. You’re going to need it because you may easily get frustrated with your mushroom foraging activity.
How to Spot Poisonous Mushrooms
Another thing that you should have a lot of knowledge about is determining if the mushroom you’ve found is the edible one or it’s the poisonous mushroom variety. Know that there are so many varieties of mushrooms, and a good number of them are poisonous.
But once you know how to tell if a mushroom is poisonous, it’s going to be so much easier to avoid them. Morels are hollow when you cut it in half. False morels are not hollow.
Chanterelles never grow in groups while a mushroom variety that looks so much like it, the Jack O’Lantern mushrooms, do grow in clusters.
You won’t have to worry about picking the wrong ones and accidentally poisoning yourself with a dangerous mushroom variety if you know these tiny but important details about poisonous and edible mushrooms.
What Poisonous Mushrooms can Do to Your Body
You may think that it’s so much easier to buy your mushrooms from the grocery store. That way, you don’t have to think or worry whether it’s poisonous or not.
However, a disadvantage of this is that you don’t know where those store-bought mushrooms came from. Besides, foraging for mushrooms is so much more enjoyable than just buying them at the store.
Even if there are so many varieties of poisonous mushrooms, don’t let that discourage you from foraging. As long as you stick to picking edible ones that you’re familiar with, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Also, you’ll know if it’s poisonous because such mushrooms have a bitter and unpleasant taste. If you’ve eaten something that tastes bad, spit it out immediately and clean your mouth with water. You can then go to the nearest emergency room for medical attention.
Some mushrooms taste good but are poisonous, so these mushrooms are the ones that you should be careful about. These delicious but dangerous mushrooms are the Death Caps and the Destroying Angels. From their names alone, you can tell that they can do damage to those who ingest it.
Death Caps are common in the wild. You don’t even need to eat a whole cap to suffer from the damage that it can do. Half a cup of this mushroom can destroy your liver. You have to get familiar with Death Caps because they can grow anywhere, both in the wild and in urban areas. You will recognize Death Caps for their round silver cap and their white stalks that are thin.
Another poisonous mushroom to watch out for is the Destroying Angels. They’re more dangerous than the Death Caps. After eating Destroying Angels, your kidneys and liver can shut down after five hours. It can kill you. This mushroom has a narrow white stem, along with a solid white cap that has gills.
What are Edible Mushrooms?
Edible mushrooms growing in the wild are also plentiful. Among the most popular common edible mushrooms are Portabellas, Creminis, White Buttons, Truffles, and Morels. The Portabellas, Creminis, and White Buttons are the same kind of mushroom. The only difference is what stage you pick in their maturation process.
If you’re ever looking for Portabellas but found White Buttons instead, allow them to grow some more. Truffles are among the most challenging to find. However, if you ever find them, you can make a lot of money if you ever choose to sell them.
When you forage for mushrooms, prepare for a challenge. But don’t worry because it will be a lot of fun, too! And after a good day of foraging, you’ll be rewarded with mouth-watering mushrooms.
Be sure to bring with you a reliable field guide so that you can check if the mushroom you found is a poisonous or an edible variety.
Also, do a lot of research so that you won’t have any problem identifying mushrooms. It will make your mushroom foraging adventure a lot safer and easier to do.