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These are some ripe Pleurotus I photographed for this article.

Pleurotus is a genus of gilled mushrooms which includes one of the most widely eaten mushrooms, P. ostreatus. Species of Pleurotus may be called oyster, abalone, or tree mushrooms, and are some of the most commonly cultivated edible mushroom in the world.

EAT, PEOPLE CHOOSE TO STARVE.

The first thing you need to know is, when walking through the woods you are walking through a sea of food. Some of it is of little or no nutritional value to you, some is toxic to you, and some is good for you, it just may be disgusting. Anything you see, you can eat. It just may make you sick if it is the wrong thing, or be of no value to you. When you eat a food of little nutritional value, your body consumes calories just to digest it, and you starve faster than you would if you did not eat. Remember the forest is full of food so sit down and eat your bowl of maggots. If that disgusts you, now you know why people choose to starve, they won’t eat their maggots.

YOU CAN EAT ANY MUSHROOM, ONCE.

That does not mean you will live to eat it a second time. A person can eat a mushroom one-day with no ill effect and it will kill them the next time they eat it. The list of polypore and edible mushrooms you can eat would fill an encyclopedia set, and the list of polypore and mushrooms that will kill you or make you sick is just as large. A good field book on picking common wild polypore and edible mushrooms is your best bet to avoid problems with eating mushrooms from the wild. Some mushrooms are good to eat, some will make you sick, some will get you stoned, and some have medicinal value.

Step 1: Calvatia Gigantea or Giant Puffball

Calvatia gigantea, commonly known as the Giant puffball, is a puffball mushroom commonly found in meadows, fields, and deciduous forests worldwide usually in late summer and autumn.

All members of the true puffball family are considered edible when immature, but can cause digestive upset if the spores have begun to form, as indicated by the color of the flesh being not pure white (first yellow, then brown). Immature gilled species still contained within their universal veil can be look alikes for puffballs.

The meat of giant puffballs tastes very similar to tofu or melted cheese when cooked. To prepare, remove any brown portions and tough skin, which sometimes peels off easily. Do not soak in anything. Puffballs may be sauteed, broiled, or breaded and fried; they do not dehydrate well, but may be cooked and then frozen.

Step 2: Agaricus Bisporus or Button Mushrooms

Agaricus bisporus, known variously as the common mushroom, button mushroom, white mushroom, table mushroom, champignon mushroom, crimini mushroom, Swiss brown mushroom, Roman brown mushroom, Italian brown, Italian mushroom, cultivated mushroom, or when mature, the Portobello mushroom—is an edible basidiomycete mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America. Originally a wild mushroom, Agaricus bisporus is cultivated in more than 70 countries and is one of the most commonly and widely consumed mushrooms in the world.

Step 3: Coprinus Comatus, or the Shaggy Ink Cap,

This is Coprinus comatus an edible mushroom. Coprinus comatus, or the shaggy ink cap, lawyer's wig, or shaggy mane, is a common fungus often seen growing on lawns, along gravel roads and waste areas. The young fruit bodies first appear as white cylinders emerging from the ground, then the bell-shaped caps open out. The caps are white, and covered with scales—this is the origin of the common names of the fungus. The gills beneath the cap are white, then pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores (hence the “ink cap” name). This mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores.

When young it is an excellent edible mushroom provided that it is eaten soon after being collected (it keeps very badly because of the autodigestion of its gills and cap). If long-term storage is desired, sauteing or simmering until done will allow the mushrooms to be stored in a refrigerator for several days or frozen. Processing must be done whether for eating or storage within four to six hours of harvest to prevent undesirable changes to the mushroom.

Step 4: Hericium Erinaceus or Bearded Tooth

Hericium erinaceus (also called Lion's Mane Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Hedgehog Mushroom, Satyr's Beard, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus) is an edible mushroom and medicinal mushroon in the tooth fungus group. It can be identified by its tendency to grow all the spines out from one group (rather than branches), long spines (greater than 1 cm length) and its appearance on hardwoods. Hericium erinaceus can be mistaken for three other species of Hericium which also grow in North America, all of which are popular edibles. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods.

Step 5: Bracket Fungi, or Shelf Fungi

Bracket fungi, or shelf fungi, among many groups of the fungi in the phylum Basidiomycota. Characteristically, they produce shelf- or bracket-shaped fruiting bodies called conks that lie in a close planar grouping of separate or interconnected horizontal rows. Brackets can range from only a single row of a few caps, to dozens of rows of caps that can weigh several hundred pounds. They are mainly found on trees (living and dead) and coarse woody debris, and may resemble mushrooms. Some form annual fruiting bodies while others are perennial and grow larger year after year. Bracket fungi are typically tough and sturdy and produce their spores, called basidiospores, within the pores that typically make up the undersurface. The best ones to eat form annual fruiting bodies as the perennial’s are hard like wood.

Step 6: Morels

Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive mushrooms appear honeycomb-like in that the upper portion is composed of a network of ridges with pits between them. Morels have been called by many local names, common names for morels include sponge mushroom. Genus Morchella is derived from morchel, an old German word for mushroom, while morel itself is derived from the Latin maurus meaning brown.

When gathering morels, care must be taken to distinguish them from the poisonous false morels. Although the false morels are sometimes eaten without ill effect, they can cause severe gastrointestinal upset and loss of muscular coordination if eaten in large quantities or over several days in a row. The false morels can be told apart from the true morels by careful study of the cap, which is often "wrinkled" or "brainy", rather than honeycomb or net-like.

Step 7: Gathering and Cooking Wild Mushrooms

Wild mushrooms grow everywhere, forest, field, and even your front lawn. This photo shows wild mushrooms growing on a front lawn, in several stages of growth. All you need to do is go for a walk and start picking.

Step 8: WHITE IS RIGHT

One mistake people make when picking wild mushrooms; they pick mature or over ripe mushrooms. Eating rotten vegetation is just as bad as eating rotten meat. Mushrooms are light in colour when immature and get darker as they mature.

The Pleurotus or Oyster Mushrooms in the first photo are the same kind as the ones in the second, and are one of the most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. See how the ones in the first are light and brightly colored, unlike the ones in the second that are dark brown and moldy.

The mushrooms I am going to make my omelet out of is the Shaggy Ink Cap and White Button Mushroom.

Step 9: Shaggy Ink Cap Mushroom

This is the different stages of maturity of the Coprinus comatus, or the Shaggy Ink Cap mushroom. The gills beneath the cap are white, then pink, then turn black and secrete a black liquid filled with spores. This mushroom is unusual because it will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of hours after being picked or depositing spores.

Figure 1. The young fruit bodies first appear as white cylinders, and covered with scales emerging from the ground.
Figure 2. The fruit starts to darken in a day, picked it can happen in a couple hours.
Figure 3. Then the bell-shaped caps open out as it matures.
Figure 4. This mushroom will turn black and dissolve itself in a matter of days.

When young it is an excellent edible mushroom provided that it is eaten soon after being collected (it keeps very badly because of the autodigestion of its gills and cap). If long-term storage is desired, sauteing or simmering until done will allow the mushrooms to be stored in a refrigerator for several days or frozen. Processing must be done whether for eating or storage within four to six hours of harvest to prevent undesirable changes to the mushroom.

I like to pick them in the morning when they first emerge and cook them as soon as I get home unless I am camping. Then I place them on the morning fire and roast them, they make a good garnish for the trout or salmon I catch each fall. I cook all wild mushrooms as quickly as I can to prevent them from spoiling before I can eat them.

White Button Mushrooms open like an umbrella and the gills darken as they mature, however they don’t melt like shaggy ink cap, and button mushrooms last longer after picking.

Step 10: Preparing the Mushrooms

These are Shaggy Ink Cap and a Button Mushroom I gathered one morning to make a wild mushroom western omelet for breakfast.

First wash and clean the mushrooms.

Then Dice the mushrooms.

Step 11: Preparing the Mushroom Omelette

Add some diced onions and sauté.

Whisk some eggs in a bowl.

Add a tablespoon diced ham and a tablespoon of the sauté mushrooms and onions for every egg.

Step 12: Cooking

Now I am going to cheat here, coat a microwave safe bowl with butter or margarine.

Add the eggs and mushrooms to the dish making sure it is not above the butter or margarine, and cook on high in microwave for one and a half minutes an egg.

Add a slice of cheese and serve.

Step 13: Eat

There is no reason to starve so enjoy your mushrooms.
I know you touched on it, and I hate to be a nag, but please, people, unless you know EXACTLY what you're eating, DON'T EAT ANYTHING WILD! Eating wild mushrooms can be fun, and tasty. Eating wild mushrooms can be DEADLY.
Everything we eat came from the wild originally. <br> <br>Bitter Sweet Nightshade was imported to North America from Europe as a medicine plant used to treat skin problems. <br> <br>Although bittersweet nightshade is not the same plant as deadly nightshade or belladonna it is poisonous and has caused the loss of life. <br> <br>The entire plant contains solanine, the same toxin found in green potatoes and other members of the nightshade family, and it also contains a glycoside called dulcamarine, similar in structure and effects to atropine, one of the toxins found in deadly nightshade. <br>Imagine that: Potatoes are a nightshade. <br> <br>The number of edible plants cultivated by man, that need man to survive, that I know of, can be counted on two fingers. All others revert to their natural state. <br> <br>Can't beat Gods work. <br>
Oh, what are those plants? I can't think of any, animals, yes, plenty, but I'm drawing a blank with plants that need humans
If you are referring to, &ldquo;The number of edible plants cultivated by man, that need man to survive,&rdquo; domestic Garlic is one. <br> <br>Garlic has been cultivated by man since before recorded history about 10,000 years or more. There is even a 4,000 year old record in Egyptian hieroglyphs of a garlic strike. <br> <br>Wheat and rice. <br>like garlic they need man to reproduce. <br>Domestic wheat and rice cling to the stalk past germination.
Well that is definitely extremely interesting, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever about that, thanks for enlightening me, and for answering so quickly
<em><strong>Warning:</strong> Do not eat mushrooms found in cow feces...or at least eat them responsibly. But, definitely do not make them into an omelette and serve them to your family.&nbsp;</em>
Farmed Button Mushrooms are grown in trays of cow manure coated with an inch of top soil.
Actually, I was sarcastically referring to Psilocybin /&nbsp;<em>Magic</em> mushrooms.
Pretty colours. <br>I thought that grew in birch leaf debris. <br>
Well, I think that like any fungus, they can grow on any sustainable food source, in the right conditions. But I believe they are mostly found in bullshit. (Pun not intended)
Pretty colors. <br> <br>Bearded Tooth grows on hardwoods only. <br>Bracket Fungi or Shelf Fungi grow on trees only, living preferred. <br>Oyster Mushrooms favor wood. <br>A lot is dependent on the sub spices. <br>
Well, I was speaking generally, but yeah. By the way, did you mean &quot;species&quot;?
typo
nice instructables on mushrooms,<br><br>Wish they had some more wild mushrooms down here in Indonesia,all we have is the button mushroom,and thats on the supermarket shelves
After reading your comment I googled &ldquo;Indonesian wild mushrooms&rdquo;, I got mushroom farms, Indonesian dishes made with wild North American mushrooms, and not much on wild mushrooms from Indonesia.
Great photos and documentation, you seem like a fungi.
I saw what you did there.....
??
<br> He understood the pun: fungi / fun-guy.<br> <br> L<br>
Two of the photos are not mine the giant puffball and the morels, they were sent to me by a friend. They are out of season right now.
Great work! <br><br>I don't like mushrooms, but maybe it is because I never ate them well prepared. Your instructable leads me to try newly.
I am glad you are thinking of trying something new; I really like the shaggy ink cap, giant puffballs, and the Bearded Tooth. These are not as musty smelling, unfortunately the end of picking season is happening now in Southern Ontario. The big mistake is overcooking, if you noticed in my pick of the cooked shaggy ink cap they were white not black or brown. They are sweet if you don&rsquo;t over cook.

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Bio: I am a photographer, a tinker, an electronics technology engineer, and author; I write short stories and poetry for the love of writing. I started ... More »
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