Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fungi and Flora

After a cool and rainy start to the day, the sky cleared and the sun came out in time for another Wild Edibles session.

This week, Martha showed us the polypore mushroom Dryad's Saddle.
This mushroom is not highly sought after, being thought of as too tough to eat and not having much of a flavor by many. We collected a few to try anyway. Martha pared off the tender edge of the mushroom and lightly sauteed the pieces. There was just enough for each of us to have a small sample, and I have to say I really enjoyed the texture and flavor. It was quite meaty, not tough at all and it had a unique flavor that I really liked. I would definitely eat this mushroom again.

Growing nearby were some very unattractive false morels. These are toxic and should not be eaten.

True morels look like this (and they taste amazing!):

Moving from fungi to flora, we identified sarsaparilla. (Taxonomy and uses here.)

Here is a great tip for identifying chickweed (from this site): "Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of common chickweed is the single lengthwise line of fine white hair on one side of the stem, but switching sides above and below each node."


Common mallow


Little baby wild grapes and leaves.



Suzy Q said...

I'm really enjoying your posts on the edible wild. I always endorse eating your 'weeds' instead of spraying them. I increase my intake every year as I learn more edible species. Dandelion fritters are becoming a regular at my kitchen table, though my husband would like to mow the lawn that I've let go to harvest enough flowers.


Amber said...

Thanks Suzy Q.
I am just loving this course. I look forward to it every week. Sadly, my bus was late the Wednesday before last and I missed my ride, hence no post for that week. But there are still two more weeks left and I will be posting about them for sure.

I made dandelion fritters last night and they were so tasty!
I also collected a cup of violet flowers to make syrup. I'm hoping it turns out. I'll post about that too.

As Martha says about weeds, "If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!"

Take care,

Suzy Q said...

Does anyone know if there is a similar course in BC, specifically, around Kamloops? . I heard someone does an ethnobotany walk around here. I've been wanting to do something like this for years. Might have to move back to Ontario.