My mushroom article a couple of weeks ago in the food column of the Star Journal stirred up a lot of interest. This has been a good year for fungi of all species so far and the morels I’ve been picking, according to several readers, are not the real ones, but a species called false morels. Upon doing some of my own research and a little more on the Internet, I found that these things can even be toxic to some people. But, other sites claim they can be eaten depending on the type. And then other information claims they can be eaten by some but not by others.
I was introduced to this morel by an old timer in my neighborhood named LeRoy and he told me he had been eating them for years. (He just recently died at age 98 so evidently they posed no harm to him.) But after doing more research I felt uncomfortable encouraging people to eat these. Some people can tolerate them, while others can’t. But that’s how it is with fungi and I stressed that in my article. I trusted LeRoy as my mushroom mentor but that just goes to show how careful you have to be.
In all honesty I wish there was a sure fire “shroom” out there that everyone could feel comfortable picking. I found out that many people love hunting for edible mushrooms after writing this article and I got lots of calls and comments after it was published. But that’s the trouble with fungi. A poisonous one could look very much like a good eater.
Admittedly, I am looking at these fungi in a new light and quite frankly I’m a little disappointed that they can cause harm to some. I always looked forward to picking them and enjoying their earthy flavor.
So you can rest assured I won’t be writing any more articles about wild mushrooms-at least as an edible part of the diet. I think I’ll go fishing instead.