Friday, August 24, 2018

An Overview of the Genus Cortinarius (Telluride pt. 4)

Note: this post was intended to be a micro-post, but ended up being a summary of pretty much everything I know about the genus Cortinarius, so it'd quite a substantial post indeed!

One of my fellow mushroom hunters in Telluride told me they have a joke out there, that mushrooms that look like these are called "Jac" for "Just Another Cortinarius".

Though from my experience, they could also call them "Jacki" for "Just Another Cortinarius, Kick It". So many of these mushrooms we found had been kicked over, whether from frustration at finding another non-edible species, or as a lazy technique for checking the underside for identification, I'm not sure.

Cortinarius species, commonly called corts or webcaps, are the largest Genus of Agaric (gilled) mushrooms known. They are generally non-edible, some are deadly poisonous, and even the edible ones are generally considered to be poor eating.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Telluride Mushroom Festival pt3: the King Bolete

So for my 3rd micro-post about the mushrooms we found at the Telluride Mushroom Festival: our first-ever King Bolete, aka: Boletus rubriceps.

B. rubriceps was once thought to be B. edulis, which you may have heard of as the Porcini. It's also known as the Cep (France) or the pennybun (United Kingdom). However, DNA studies have shown that B. edulis is native only to Europe. Boletus rubriceps is a close relative, however, and considered to be part of the Boletus edulis "complex".

My husband found the only king bolete of the trip, we were at or around 10,500 ft, up on the side of Lizard Head. The foray lead told us that Amanita muscaria is frequently found nearby, and that its generally easier to find the red A. muscaria then it is to find the brown B. rubriceps, so to look for those, then look around.  (A muscaria is the bright red mushroom with the red spots that everyone thinks of when they think of a mushroom). Sure enough, he found the boletus within a few yards of where others were picking A. muscaria.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Telluride Mushroom Festival pt.2, Albatrellus ovinus

Hey everyone, welcome back for my second micro-post on what I learned and discovered at the Telluride Mushroom Festival!

This micro-post is about a new mushroom for me: Albatrellus ovinus.

Telluride Mushroom Festival pt1: Fungal foray finds!

For the past 5 days, my husband and I have been at the Telluride Mushroom Festival! It's been an incredible trip, with lectures about mycoremediation (using fungi to clean up the environment and break down trash and contaminates), mushroom hunting forays, a parade, community and more.

I've been trying to get the time to write some huge posts, but there is just way too much I've learned, and the posts were out of control long. Instead I've decided to do some micro-posts on specific topics.

I'm working off my phone, so I apologize for typos and incomplete photo records. I'll clean up these posts when I get home.

So for this first micro-post, I'd like to provide an overview of the fungi our mushroom-hunting teams found at our all-day forays on Thursday and Friday.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sautéed mushrooms with black trumpets. Keto, gluten-free, low carb, vegetaritan

A few weeks back, my husband made me some truly decadent sautéed mushrooms, using our FAVORITE wild mushroom: the black trumpet.

Black trumpets don't get the fame of chanterelles, porcini, morels or truffles, but there is nothing else on earth quite like their flavor. Black trumpets taste like the essence of the forrest, woodsy, earthy, and super rich. Even their smell is like putting your face down to the earth, and taking a deep inhale: you get a heady aroma of moss, dead leaves, black soil. . .
and just a hint of funk. Kind of like truffles, black trumpet aroma is weird-good, and promises amazing things to come.

The thing about black trumpets is that they are rather small and fragile, very thin-fleshed, so they don't make a very good meal on their own. The good news is their flavor is so intense that you can use these mushrooms almost as a spice, where just a little goes a long way. The secret is to dry them first.