Sunday, 13 October 2019

pilzfund

H and I went foraging for mushrooms recently and though we’re not averaging a good return on edible specimens from the field, we are getting exposed to quite the menagerie of woodland types of fungi during our scavenging.

 
Among the diverse exemplars that we find along the trail just metres from one another we encountered the poisonous and hallucinogenic fly agaric toadstool (Fliegenpilz, Amanita muscaria) quite often, others yet unidentified and works of art in their mystery, and another quavering discovery called a wood ear or a jelly ear (Judasohr, Auricularia auricular-judæ, so called from the traditional narrative that Judas Iscariot hanged himself from an elder, the sambucus, Holunder tree and these mushrooms often appear at the base of such trees to remind the faithful of this act of betrayal).
For all of its rather Lynchian baggage, the wood ear is very much edible—if not a bit bland unseasoned, and is a staple for umami flavourant in Asian cuisine. Please click on the images for more detail.  The pharmacological merit of the fungus is currently being studied, research suggesting that its palliative use in folk medicine was not far off.