Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ABC Wednesday - M is for Mushrooms

chanterelles_lobster
Guest photographer, my elder son Lamont, picked these chantrelles (left) and lobster mushrooms (right) last Thursday, east of Portland.

chantrelles
He picked these chantrelles on Monday, off Highway 26, west of Portland.

All of them ended up at 3 Doors Down Cafe, where he's the sous chef, as part of nightly specials. Needless to say, the arrival of such fresh bounty excited Dave, 3 Doors Down's chef/owner.

Here's some Wikipedia info about both kinds of mushrooms:

Chantarelle or Golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) is probably the best known species of this genus Cantharellus. It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. It has a fruity smell reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste, and is considered an excellent food mushroom. Scientific research has suggested that the golden chanterelle may have potent insecticidal properties that are harmless against humans and yet protects the mushroom body against insects and other potentially harmful organisms.

Lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum) is not, in the truest sense of the word, actually a mushroom. It is a parasitic ascomycete that grows on mushrooms, turning them a reddish orange color that resembles the outer shell of a cooked lobster. It colonizes members of the genera Lactarius (Milk-caps) and Russula, such as Russula brevipes and Lactarius piperatus in North America. At maturity, H. lactifluorum thoroughly covers its host, rendering it unidentifiable. Lobster mushrooms are widely eaten and enjoyed; they are commercially marketed and are commonly found in some large grocery stores. They have a seafood-like flavor and a firm, dense texture. According to some, they may taste somewhat spicy if the host mushroom is an acrid Lactarius.

8 comments:

Bear Naked said...

Many Many Mushrooms for ABC Wednesday letter M.

Bear((( )))

brian said...

i've always heard to look for the 'shrooms growing on cow patties ;-) i love mushrooms! (in all kinds of food!)

WendyB said...

No poison mushrooms, right???

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. This would be nice to be able to do. I just admire people who know what they are picking to eat.

Katney said...

The Ranger we worked with on our week at Ohanapecosh was a mushroom expert and it was prime mushroom season. We were wetting off to go "rove" in another area when she suddenly pulled over to the side of the road and got out. She had seen a mushroom she wanted to check out. She noted its location to go back for it later. ("Roving" is hiking in an area to answer questions fo visitors and be a reimnder of trail etiquette.)

Kim from Hiraeth said...

Cool!

I'd like to eat at his restaurant!

earthlingorgeous said...

MMMM mushrooms! 3 Doors Down Cafe? Is that cafe named after the band? I love their song Here Without You!

Anyway, I am here to tell you how important your comment is. It is so important that it is equal to a dollar donation to feed the hungry! So please don't be shy and leave a comment!

Louis la Vache said...

uh huh...
No hallucination-causing mushrooms in the bunch, right?

;-)