Mushroom foraging in Tennessee.
COUNTRYSIDE: I have been enjoying COUNTRYSIDE for more than 30 years.
I enjoyed the "Mushrooms and more" article in the Nov./Dec. issue. I have been hunting wild mushrooms for many years, and the mushrooms in the picture are the Hen of the Woods Noun 1. hen of the woods - large greyish-brown edible fungus forming a mass of overlapping caps that somewhat resembles a hen at the base of trees
Grifola frondosa, hen-of-the-woods, Polyporus frondosus , which appear under oak trees that are dying--usually aged trees. Under the Black Oak is the most likely spot to find them. This is one of the great mushrooms of the world. It is called a "Carene" mushroom in Italy and is savored by Asians. This mushroom will appear in the southeast in September, October and November, depending on how much moisture we get. You will find the mushroom at the base of the tree or on the roots. You can freeze, dry or can them.
You can derive a lot of pleasure in hunting wild mushrooms. I would like to convey what I consider the ABCs mushroom hunting Mushroom hunting or mushrooming is the activity of searching for mushrooms in the wild, typically for eating. It is popular in most of Europe, from the Nordic, Baltic and Slavic countries (see mushroom picking in Slavic culture) to western North America (particularly from .
First of all, purchase a book on mushrooms--I suggest the National Audobon Society Book on Mushrooms. It will give you detailed information on how to make a spore print The spore print of a mushroom is an important diagnostic character in most handbooks for identifying mushrooms. A spore print is made by placing the spore-producing surface flat on a sheet of dark and white (or just white) paper . The mushroom is left overnight in this manner. , etc. There are so many wonderful mushrooms that are safe to collect, you need not take a chance on any mushroom that is questionable.
In the Cumberland Mountains the first mushrooms appear in April when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear. The Morel morel
Any of various species of edible mushrooms in the genera Morchella and Verpa. Morels have a convoluted or pitted head, or cap, vary in shape, and occur in diverse habitats. The edible M. mushroom is one of the first--and hard to find--but worth the effort. In May and June you can find the Oyster, Sulfur Shelf, and Bolette mushrooms. In July you will find the little orange Chanterelle chanterelle
Highly prized, fragrant, edible mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius, order Polyporales), rich yellow in colour, found in woods in summer and autumn. Its similarity to the poisonous jack-o-lantern (Clitocybe illudens, order Agaricales), an orange-yellow fungus of (it has a peppery pep·per·y
1. Of, containing, or resembling pepper; sharp or pungent in flavor.
2. Vigorously sharp-tempered: a peppery sales clerk.
3. taste) and the Fawn mushrooms. You can also collect the Meadow mushroom, but you need a spore print because it looks like the Death CUP, which is poisonous. The Meadow mushroom has pink gills and the Death Cup has white gills, so be careful. The Hen of the Woods will end the season in November.--Floyd T., Tennessee