Jelly Tooth Fungi

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Jelly Tooth Fungus, Vancouver Island, BC
Jelly Tooth Fungus, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, more commonly known as the jelly tooth fungus, false hedgehog mushroom, or cat’s tongue. It is an edible mushroom. It is best to make candied treats out of this mushroom as it is quite bland to eat. It is well distributed throughout North America and can be found everywhere on Vancouver Island.  This fungus grows on dead trunks, logs, and stumps. These little mushrooms have a texture, not unlike the rubber worms fishermen use or like a gummy bear candy.

It’s a fairly common mushroom found on every continent except Antarctica — even though it looks so well-suited for life on a white and cold continent! There are two distinct appearances for the species here in North America. The western version looks have a ghost-like appearance, and the eastern version has a cap that is browner. No matter what part of the continent you’re on, look for them growing in a conifer forest. Look close as these little ones are for the most part, quite small.

Jelly Tooth Fungus, Vancouver Island, BC
Jelly Tooth Fungus, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

They have very little flavor, but are edible and can be delicious when candied. To candy, these mushrooms soak them in a syrup flavored with fresh citric fruit juice, combine several like lime, lemon, and orange. To make the syrup, add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of sugar and add 1 cup of the fresh juice you made. Boil that until it thickens, remove from heat and add the jelly tooth mushrooms. replace them back onto the stove and simmer them for an hour or so. Remove from syrup and cool. I find these little treats to be quite tasty, give it a shot, you might like them as well.

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