Edible Mushrooms

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Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest

The King Boletus Mushroom are edible mushrooms that can be found on all the coast of BC
King Boletus Mushroom, Photo By Bud Logan

Going mushroom hunting in the fall for Edible Mushrooms is one of the things l love doing. The crisp fall air, sun shining through the mist. What more could a person want. Well, perhaps a big feed of these edible wonders. Some of the mushrooms listed here are not only edible and easy to identify but are truly delicious. Some of them are more geared to pros, learn the easy ones first, then move onto the more difficult ones.Learn about each mushroom one at a time and only eat the ones you know for sure are good to eat and the first time you try an edible mushroom, consume only a small amount.

Mushrooms are beautiful to behold and to see such wonders that seem to spring up over night is just incredible. If you are just beginning to harvest mushrooms, you are in for a treat, as you learn how they grow and reproduce, you will be amazed. As you discover the great edible kinds, you will be hooked for life. I know I am.

The Chicken Of The Woods Mushroom are edible mushrooms and is quite common on Vancouver Island
Chicken Of The Woods Mushroom, Photo By Bud Logan

A walk in the fall through the forest looking for mushrooms is good for you, good for your body, good for your spirit. Its almost like meditation to me. You are surrounded by nature in all its glory. Most times, its either raining or has just rained ( best time to hunt mushrooms) and there are such sounds coming from the forest. The sounds of raindrops dripping from the trees, the sounds of babbling creeks made active by the rainfall. The sound of Insects that are starting to come out from hiding. Over all of this is the sounds of the various birds that are singing. This is such a wonderful way to spend the day.

When you are out here, keep your eyes open, you might see black bears, deer, elk or any of the other forest creatures that live in the coastal rain forest, bring your camera with you and take home some memories.

These are very rare mushrooms and are a wondrous sight for the eyes. If you study the photo, they look like a mix between the more common yellow chanterelle and an oyster mushroom, but painted black. Not very pretty to look at but when you see them in the wild they kind of take your breath away.

Blue Chanterrele Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
Blue Chanterrelle Mushroom, photo by Robert Logan

They are tough and little bit woody to the feel and even when cooked retain some of these characteristics. These mushrooms have a very distinctive flavor and can be quite earthy, but you know, they are nice when mixed in with other mushrooms and stir fried, adding that wild, dark blue color to the mix.

The Blue Chanterelle Mushrooms fruiting body has a funnel shaped cap with a velvety texture that often grow stacked upon one another. The underside of the caps do not have visible gills, only wrinkles. They are dark bluish purple to black in color. Blue chanterelles have a sweet earthy aroma with a mild, nutty flavor when cooked.

Although it is quite often refereed to as the Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, this wild mushroom is not a chanterelle at all. Mycologists have placed it in to the genus Polyozellus, a member of the The ephoraceae family. It is a mushroom of the lowland forests, it grows best in the wet spruce and fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. I have seen these in large groups a few times, but have mostly seen them as  single mushrooms.

Blue Chanterrele Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, photo by Robert Logan

A study published in 2014 showed that blue chanterelle has medical uses. The compounds found in the mushroom can be used as a treatment for stomach cancer and they also found in this study that these mushrooms could benefit people with diabetes because they inhibit glucosidase and this slows down the processing of carbohydrates in the sufferers of diabetes. More studies need to be done to unlock the secrets of these beautiful mushrooms.

King Bolete Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
King Bolete Mushroom, Photo By Bud Logan

The king Bolete Mushroom is one of the most sought after mushrooms worldwide, no mushroom is more satisfying. The king can have a yellow, red to brown cap atop a thick white or brown stalk, and grows individually or in small clumps on the ground in coniferous forests. They can be found in all parts of the Pacific Northwest. They are very delicious.

They are not just a hearty meal though, king bolete mushrooms are immuno stimulating and contain lots of vitamin B, thereby can help to maintain a balanced nervous system.

It grows in conifer forests where it just as all other mushrooms, have an association with the roots of the trees, aiding them in absorbing nutrients while receiving sugars from the tree’ in return. There is much more going on here that we are just beginning to understand.

King Bolete Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
King Bolete Mushroom, Photo By Bud Logan

You will have a hard time finding them in the Pacific Northwest without maggots in them, unless the mushroom is real young and small, their the best tasting ones anyways. The BC Coastal Region has lots of them, you can find them growing from sea level right up to 1000 meters. The little mushrooms can be difficult to find because they barely poke their caps above the soil surface. This elusiveness is further enhanced by the fact that sometimes they do not even push above the needles that have accumulated on the floor of the forest. Experienced shoomers look for small humps in the litter that indicate these choice mushrooms are hiding underneath. But the mere presence of these mushrumps does not mean King Boletus is underneath. There are many kinds of mushrooms that do this. Including the pine mushroom, also known as the Matsutake mushroom, another very choice mushroom.

As with any mushroom, you must be absolutely sure what you’re harvesting, never eat a mushroom unless you can identify it with no mistakes, because making a mistake when harvesting mushrooms could kill you. The King Bolete Mushroom (Boletus edulis) is fairly easy to identify, once you get the hang of it, although it has many variations in color and size and shape. The stem of these mushrooms will have a pattern on them that looks like the skin patterns on giraffe.

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