On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
I’m on vacation this week without computer and too busy/no downtime.
This is the same mushroom as yesterday and in my hand, for scale. It weighs about 2 pounds! I of course cleaned it. I shall share much info soon!
Success – huzzah! Found at about 11,200 feet in Southern Colorado.
This was the first and largest I found today, about 2 pounds of delicious Boletus Edulis, the king bolete, once harvested and cleaned. I’ll share info on all that soon. Also known as bolete, cepe, porcini, and many others.
When I’m back home, I’ll be slicing and frying that beauty with garlic and shallots, salt and pepper. Food doesn’t get much better, tbh. It tastes so good, really, a fresh mushroom of this type is the equal or better of any meat, veggie, or fruit. There’s a reason some of us get seized with mushroom madness.
My words of wisdom have always been“there are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but no old, bold mushroom hunters”
While I may examine and deduce, etc a wild mushroom, I rarely consider my judgement good enough for consumption. I must be positive before I’ll eat something I harvest, and I always cook my mushrooms. For many species, this isn’t required, but cooking transforms many key proteins and flavor compounds so that it is tastier and easier/better to digest.
In the case of these king boletes, I know them and their quasi doppelgänger never ends up in my bag, though I do sometimes cut them, only to find gills which the edulis does not have.
Have a great weekend, I’m buying some produce in Pueblo and then driving back East.
I have enough mushrooms to feel good, but not what I’d hoped for. I was late, more late, and early, for the areas I hunted. Rains cause them to burst from the ground and some years, the same rain does nothing, and they never pop, other years they pop at the first rain, some years they pop only after a few rains, and some years are like a flood and they explode in growth, not just sticking up, but also sideways out of the ground on hills and other “edges” for weeks on end.
Apparently, last year, while wet in much of Colorado, was very dry on my prize mountains, so this year’s moisture made for limited growth. If I still lived here, I could go again next week and the week after, but I’m not so blessed.
Next year, for sure!
I’ll bet next year will be a good mushrooming year if the San Juans have another good winter. 2017-8 was off the record charts dry, so I’ll bet some of the subsurface mycelium were significantly impacted by that drought. Last summer there was scary, crispy crunchy dry; it’s amazing forest fires didn’t consume more there than they did.
For those of you with nightmarish imaginations, who nevertheless need to learn not to eat untyped (that is: a mushroom that has not been definitively classified, by “type” – or so *I* was taught, by someone who might have been bluffing :-) ) mushrooms, there are some out there that have effects kind of like the “walking dead” who’ve been exposed to the right amount of radiation. Get just enough, and you’ll die, over several days, and nothing can save you. Some of your innards have to rebuild themselves continuously to remain functioning, and the radiation prevents that rebuilding for too long. (Get enough, and you die more quickly, of course; get too little, and you only have to worry about cancer for the rest of your life. But the “actually, I feel not too bad…” “too bad, you’re going to die, it’s literally impossible for us to save your life with today’s medical technology” is the ultimate in creepiness for me.)
That same teacher said “if you’re starving, and it didn’t raise a rash on a skin test, and didn’t taste bitter, some folks will wince to hear that you ate it, but acknowledge they might have done the same thing. If they hear you even considered eating a mushroom you couldn’t positively identify, they’d ask if you were born that stupid, or were you concussed in that situation?”