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Shaggy Mane Mushrooms- First Impressions of Edibility

shaggy mane mushrooms, picked shaggy mane mushrooms, just harvested (photo by jhy)
I have read, and been told by several people that shaggy mane mushrooms, Coprinus comatus, are some of the best there is, but I had never tried them. They pop up in my own lawn once every few years, so I decided to give them a try. See Identifying Shaggy Mane Mushrooms for tips on harvesting them.

The trick is to get them before they self-digest. In the first picture you can see that two of the ones I picked are beginning to turn black at the lower edges. I simply cut that part off. Supposedly it won't hurt you, but will affect the flavor. I was happy enough to cut it off. You can also see the characteristic hollow stem.

shaggy mane mushrooms, halved shaggy mane mushrooms, halved (photo by jhy)
Next, I cut them in half. Here's what they looked like.

shaggy mane mushrooms, scraped shaggy mane mushrooms, scraped (photo by jhy)
Since I didn't really have any further instructions on what to do, I decided to scrape off the shaggy outer layer. This was easy to do, I rubbed it with the back of my knife and it peeled right off. I don't know if you really need to do this or not, but it was an easy way to remove the superficial dirt. The mushroom was fairly fragile, but not crumbly. I then cut it in small pieces and fried it in a little butter.

shaggy mane mushrooms, fried shaggy mane mushrooms, fried (photo by jhy)
The pieces cooked quickly but didn't really brown because they exuded this milky white juice. I wondered if I did something wrong. I had collected them on a very cold morning, and wondered if I should have let them come to room temperature before cooking. But some later research revealed that this is just what these mushrooms do. They are recommended for mushroom soup, and I can see why. If I have a chance to collect some more, I will probably try that.

shaggy mane mushrooms, fried with an egg shaggy mane mushrooms, fried with an egg (photo by jhy)
As it was, I simply cooked them with an egg for my breakfast. The flavor is mild and sweet, and the texture is silky. I can see why they have such a good reputation. I will definitely make it a point to collect these when I see them in the future.

They need to be cooked right after collecting. They will continue to self-digest even after picking. Cooked ones can supposedly be frozen. I simply put the extras in the refrigerator and had them for breakfast the next day.

With any wild food, it is a good idea to only eat a small amount the first time you try it, to be certain that you don't have some personal allergy, even if the food is considered to be edible. I had no adverse reaction to these mushrooms, and since they are quite easy to identify, I'll be watching for them.


1 comments:

Julie Clendenning said...

Nice post! I have some Shaggy Mane that I gathered this morning. They were growing on the lawn at the Best Western Hotel.

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