Walk in the forest, I found some nice Porcini mushrooms!

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Nice, I am too afraid of mistaking a poisonous one so I don't ever get to forage.
I hear you. I started foraging for porcini mushrooms only 2 years ago, with a friend/chef who explained how to recognize them. There are a few things you can do to recognize them. For example they shouldn't have any ribs under the cap: if they do, they're not the kind of porcini you should be eating. Instead they have either nothing at all (young ones) or some kind of foam that can be beige or light brown (kinda old) to greenish (even older). You can eat them all, from young to older. The young ones are firmer and hold their shape better: great for texture, presentation, for breading etc... the older ones are spongier and loser, the caps come apart from the foot easily, but they have more taste. It depends on the use. I like the younger ones because they're less likely to have worms or be partially eaten by slugs (sorry, not very appetizing, but that's the whole truth about mushrooms I'm afraid). But when you find an older one with a beige foam that's in great shape, no holes etc... then you hit the jackpot.

If you find young ones that are small and you can't check under the cap because it's tight against the foot, then if the cap is shiny and slightly sticky then don't eat it. When in doubt don't eat it or bring it to someone who can identify it for you. Here in France it's common practice to bring your mushrooms to the local pharmacy so they can double-check them for you. They usually know local mushrooms very well.

But after only one session foraging with my friend and asking a few questions, I feel confident that I can forage on my own and feed my wife and kids without any fear.
 
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Great!
Thanks for the pictures.
I know these mushroons as "eekhoorntjesbrood" (squirrel bread).
Never knew their English name ;)
We used to collect them as kids in autumn. Always loved them!
 
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@french fries what a treat! Fried mushrooms is such a favorite of mine. Did you make a sauce? Or a squeeze of lemon?
No, nothing like that, although now that you mention it, it could have been a nice addition! I found some more yesterday, and even more today. Yesterday I simply diced the mushrooms and sautéed them in butter with pancetta and garlic, I think I might do the same tonight.

I also found pounds and pounds of wild raspberry, they're sooo tasty, a far cry from what you can purchase in stores. I had so much I made jam! Also found some blackberries, blueberries and juniper berries that I'm going to use in a sauerkraut I've planned for the week end.
 
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Bolitus mushrooms, those with tubes under the cap instead of gills, are benign for the most part. There is only one species that is significantly poisonous, and they are relatively small with bulbous cap, usually with a bright red/orange/yellow colored cap. Those that are slimy on top or that turn blue when damaged are mildly poisonous, mostly causing stomach upset.

I have to say though that the small porcini with its bulbous cap did make me think of the poisonous species...
 
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I have to say though that the small porcini with its bulbous cap did make me think of the poisonous species...

And that's why I just pick mine up from the grocery store. I know they aren't as good and way over priced but how embarrassing would it be to be killed by eating the wrong mushroom.
 
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I've lurked for a long time, and finally I have something useful to contribute. :)

The red mushroom with the white spots looks like it's from a cartoon because it is. The smurf homes are based on those, a beautiful and fairly poisonous member of the amanita family.

The best way to learn about mushrooms is to go with someone who is experienced. There are mushroom clubs all over the USA who offer guided walks. You'll meet some interesting people and learn about what's good to pick in your area in short order.

With a little bit of instruction it's very easy to tell the difference between the top, common edibles and the poisonous ones, because they don't look anything alike. If you can reliable tell the difference between an apple and a banana, you can learn to forage mushrooms safely.

So google up your local mushroom club, go on a walk or two, and start picking your own chanterelles.

I'm a little bit jealous of the beautiful Porcini in the OP. I was introduced to mushroom hunting while living in Germany 20 years ago and that was the target species. Now I live on the east coast and we have wonderful mushrooms, but no Porcini.

On the plus side, we have far more available forest and 1% of the mushroom hunters. So once you figure things out, the mushroom hunting is outstanding in the US.
 
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The smurf homes are based on those, a beautiful and fairly poisonous member of the amanita family.

Some people like to eat them for the hallucinations they give you but I wouldn't recommend it. Although rarely lethal, it can have pretty severe consequences.

On the plus side, we have far more available forest and 1% of the mushroom hunters. So once you figure things out, the mushroom hunting is outstanding in the US.

Little to no competition? Now I am jealous. There is a lot of competition around here. Normal for something you can pick up from the ground that is sold $25 a pound in the market.
 
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I keep it pretty simple. Morels in the spring, chanterelles and black trumpets in the summer, and sheepshead/maitake/grifola frondosa in the fall.

Some people think that we go into the woods, pick every mushroom we see, and then come home and try to identify which ones are good to eat. That's not it at all. I target specific species, in specific habitat at specific times of the year.

I have family in rural Pennsylvania, and after a summer rain I can just drive the back roads and find chanterelles. If I don't pick them, no one else will. In Germany, chanterelles within sight of a road would be gone in a day or two.
 
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Love morels and pick them every spring! Nothing beats a morel sliced then sauteed in butter with a bit of garlic, salt, pepper... cook them down until no more liquid is released then add a splash of worchestershire sauce, cook that down a bit, then add a pat of butter off the heat to thicken your sauce. Pour over a nice rare ribeye steak and enjoy!
 
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