Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

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Das Troll
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Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Das Troll » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:13 am

Almost every season there are mushrooms about. Where I live in the midwest, there are a bunch of easily identifiable ones that you can look for if you're a beginner.

First up is one of the ugliest fuckers I've ever had the displeasure of looking at, the Chaga mushroom. This parasitic mushroom grows on birch trees and looks like a tumor that's been set on fire and burnt to a gross black crisp. The black part of chaga makes wonderful and healthy tea. The cork like center of chaga is great for starting fires once it's dried out. A little more can be learned on chaga from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inonotus_obliquus and here https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/chaga-mushroom
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Next up is one that is really hard to miss, the scarlet cup or the scarlet elf ear. These are BRIGHT red and they grow on sticks in the leaf litter. I personally wasn't too impressed with them. They just kinda taste like regular mushrooms. The annoying part is they get covered in leaf litter and take a little work to clean up. You often find so many of them that you can easily fill up more than one plastic shopping bag. This one grows in the spring time so at the moment, you're going to have to wait. Take or leave it. https://gallowaywildfoods.com/scarlet-e ... tribution/
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Another super easy one to identify is the chicken of the woods. This shelf growing mushroom is a polypore, meaning it doesn't have gills like a regular mushroom it has tons of tiny pores on the bottom. Aside from the blindingly bright orange, white, and polypore nature of the chicken of the woods, it has very few look alikes. Grows mostly on Oak trees. Cooked down it has the consistency and stringy nature of meat. It also tastes like chicken (ish). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laetiporus
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A look alike for the chicken of the woods is the chanterelle. As you can see, it looks slightly like the chicken of the woods because of its bright orange color but it lacks other similar markers. First is the fact that it grows on the ground in clusters and not in shelves on trees. Second is it has gills that extend from the cap down the stalk that often fork. There are false chanterelles that were thought to be poisonous, but they just kinda make you shit yourself a bit. If you feel comfortable with this one, go for it. I would say it's the hardest to identify in terms of easy mushrooms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanterelle\

It wont let me add anymore pictures for some reason.

Das Troll
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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Das Troll » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:21 am

Guess I'll continue here.
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This next mushroom is pretty easy to identify. It's another one of those super gross looking mushrooms that is great for your mental health, that mushroom is the lions mane. They sell extract for this in pill form but it's quite expensive. These mushrooms grow on hard woods and look like giant hair balls. I've never actually eaten one of these so I'm not sure how they taste. I have gotten the extract for mental acuity though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hericium_erinaceus
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Depending on who you know, some restaurants will pay good money for fresh mushrooms. Get on their good side and you can sell your extra to them at a decent price. The more hippy and high class the restaurant is, the more they will be likely to buy your wares.

Kheron
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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Kheron » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:27 am

Cool guide! May have to go out shroom hunting.

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Enigma
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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Enigma » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:47 pm

Kheron wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:27 am
Cool guide! May have to go out shroom hunting.
A certain bluff along the river is a good place.
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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Kheron » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:53 pm

I'm 100% going on the closed path if I go, I liked that one the most. It was so beautiful being wedged between the wall of trees and the cliff.

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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Enigma » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:40 pm

Yeah, that's the side with all the mushrooms.

The magic kind are up there too if you know what you're looking for.
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Kheron
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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Kheron » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:10 pm

I don't but I could probably find pics if I tried hard enough anyway.

I've been trying to get my Girl up there with me basically since I moved back into town and she hasn't. There were a few good weeks where the weekends were nice and cool and not overly sunny (I fucking hate the sun, shit is cancerous and literally cooks you, fuck that). Sucks cus there's only so many days I physically feel like I could even imagine attempting a hike since my last surgery fucked me so bad.

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Re: Midwestern mushrooms for beginners

Post by Enigma » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:07 am

Yeah, just give it a couple weeks. Fall time is the best.
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