Oyster Mushroom, Pacific Northwest
Shortly after the first rains of the season, the snow tan petal like beginnings of the oyster mushroom can be found. The autumn forest is brightened with the beautiful young stemmed caps cascading shelf like from the surface of dead alder trees. The cap is shell shaped and has a delicate sweet and spicy aroma not usually found in oyster mushrooms grown commercially.
Occasionally, tan caps will be found, and some of these can spread out to 45 cm in diameter, with thick, meaty flesh. It is possible to gather caps from a single log two or three times in one season.
Few things are more delightful when you are walking through the woods, on a sunny but chilly day, than coming across a cluster of oyster mushrooms fanning out in shell like shapes from a dead log. Oysters mushrooms are one of the greats among its other wild fellows, a mild flavor with a wonderful firm texture. An excellent choice for stir fries, soups, stews or grilling. This mushroom will hold well in the refrigerator for several days.