Yesterday I had an adventure with a mushroom.
No, not the Alice in Wonderland kind of mushroom. This was a wild mushroom found by a co-worker of mine who is becoming sort of a wild mushroom game hunter, seeking rare species in the woods and trees in this area.
What he found was a 'bearded tooth,' which was about the size of a good cantaloupe, covered in white hair, growing on a tree just out of arm's reach. He knocked it to the ground, which sullied the pure white exterior with dirt. But the interior was pure white, which meant that this was a mushroom at its prime.
The big question: Is it edible?
Now I tend to not test the extremes regarding food I find in the woods. A few berries, honeysuckle - that's about my limit.
But we did some research, and found a credible source that said that not only was a bearded tooth edible, there was no
poisonous mushroom that looked anything near to this one. So even if our identification was wrong, or we failed to identify some sub-species, we should
So I took this behemoth home, sliced it about french toast thickness, and fried it in olive oil and garlic salt. It looked nice, but had the consistency of a sneaker.
So I tried again, this time cutting very thin slices and using less oil. The results? Better, but not something I'd be willing to shell out $8 for as an appetizer.
The good news, of course, is that I did not break out into hives or drop into a mushroom-induced coma. No hallucinations or out-of-body experiences.
For now, however, I think I'll stick to the supermarket variety of mushrooms, if not for the taste, then maybe for my own safety.