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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It pains me everytime that I go to the supermarket and look at the price of a mushroom today. Living in the Pacific Northwest these tasty morsles are abundant yet the grocery stores have limited selections, or dried stock. I love to cook and especially love wild mushrooms. I would like to begin picking my own, and was wondering if anyone new of books or sources to learn. I know they say to go with an expert, but how did they lear, I would like to be an expert. Thanks.
 

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Try the google search man. Pacific northweast edible mushrooms. You should get plenty of hits. All I can say with the mushroon picking business is KNOW YOUR GAME or pay the price hahaha. Good luck !!!
 

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The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms is the place to start it is an excellent guide. There are seven mushrooms in North America that are foolproof they're known as the "Foolproof Seven" LOL go figure! Anyways they have no poisonous lookalikes. Those should be first on your agenda for identifying. I've been studying mycology for close to 25yrs. I have learned quite a few species in my location that I see abundantly and that I really love consuming and I really would love to expand my shroom resources a bit further maybe next spring I'll get the bug up my ass and spend some serious time foraging for my little myco buddies! ;)
 

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What are the "foolproof seven" of North America?

I would guess:

Chanterelles
Morelles
Ceps

Not sure if the following grow in North America:
Parasol mushrooms
Chicken of the woods
Hedgehog mushroom
Giant puffball

I agree with the OP about the prices in the supermarket. We must have hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of dried mushrooms sitting in our pantry. It's a good feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms is the place to start it is an excellent guide. There are seven mushrooms in North America that are foolproof they're known as the "Foolproof Seven" LOL go figure! Anyways they have no poisonous lookalikes. Those should be first on your agenda for identifying. I've been studying mycology for close to 25yrs. I have learned quite a few species in my location that I see abundantly and that I really love consuming and I really would love to expand my shroom resources a bit further maybe next spring I'll get the bug up my ass and spend some serious time foraging for my little myco buddies! ;)
Thanks for the help, I will keep my eyes open and buy it as soon as I see it.
 

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What are the "foolproof seven" of North America?

I would guess:

Chanterelles
Morelles
Ceps

Not sure if the following grow in North America:
Parasol mushrooms
Chicken of the woods
Hedgehog mushroom
Giant puffball

I agree with the OP about the prices in the supermarket. We must have hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of dried mushrooms sitting in our pantry. It's a good feeling.
Morels, Sulphur Shelf mushroom (your chicken of the woods), Meadow mushroom, Puffballs, Oyster mushroom which will smell like anise (black licorice), Shaggy Manes and the last one escapes me at the moment. Chanterelles although are one of the best tasting mushrooms out there IMO, can be misidentified for the Jack-O-Lantern which is deadly poisonous but can be easily distinguished by the chanterelles thick forked gills heres a picture for reference.
 

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I used to live in Grays Harbor, WA and picked my share of mushrooms. If you get a book get one with color photos! What a help that is. Have not found any in Arizona...
 

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There are seven mushrooms in North America that are foolproof they're known as the "Foolproof Seven" LOL go figure! Anyways they have no poisonous lookalikes. Those should be first on your agenda for identifying.
I thought it was the "Foolproof Four" and the "Fatal Five". I have never been a big proponent of wild mushrooms because mushrooms in general do not have high nutritional value so the risk is not really worth the reward... and if you are wrong you are dead! Then again I dont live in an area where they are abundant either. If I lived in the NW I would probably give them more consideration.
 

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I thought it was the "Foolproof Four" and the "Fatal Five". I have never been a big proponent of wild mushrooms because mushrooms in general do not have high nutritional value so the risk is not really worth the reward... and if you are wrong you are dead! Then again I dont live in an area where they are abundant either. If I lived in the NW I would probably give them more consideration.
That is the common rule of thumb alright. You would be surprised at the benefits mushrooms can provide on the trail but as you said one has no choice but to be absolutely positive IDing.
 

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I avoid them as well, and I've been foraging over 50 years. If I could find a good teacher in the area I might... I think I have an edible one every spring in my yard, some kind of boletus/suillus under a loquat tree.

If one makes a mistake with a plant it is rarely fatal. While there are some suicides using plants -- there are many that will kill you -- I think the last adult on record who accidentally died from eating a plant was in 1975, and that was with the poison hemlock. A few very young children die now and then, usually from eating an ornamental plant in their yard or their neighbor's yard. Most plants used in landscaping are toxic. But, mushroom deaths are an annual event. And it happens to amateurs and experienced collectors. Mushrooms just have a higher threat factor.
 

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Those who forage for mushrooms and are responsible have a special love for the little guys. I find there are those who don't mind eating them and those that simply love them and have from an early age. All my friends that forage have been almost obsessive in their endeavor to learn which ones to pick and which ones will kill.
It was hard (very) for me that first time I cooked and consumed my first mushroom that I IDed myself I learned everything I could about it and any that resembled it I obsessed over it for almost a year, that was the meadow mushroom which is a fairly simple one to ID at that. That was one of the best steps I've ever taken now I enjoy them every spring/early summer bountifully along with all the others I have learned it simply opens up ones own food source.
I don't think mushrooms are any more lacking in certain nutritional value anymore than many of the plants we pick anyway whether it be protein, vitamins, carbohydrate or fiber. They all have there pros and cons IMHO. Just my two cents.
 

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In Sweden there are several companies which buy from mushroom pickers. The mushroom pickers are just ordinary people who want some spare income and know what to gather. I have heard that there are a lot of Thai women around here who do it, because the majority of Swedes aren't interested in so much effort for such a small amount of money. I don't mind the effort but it's worth more to me to keep them than sell them. The only variety I would sell are the ones which are toxic unless prepared correctly (ie. Gyromitra esculenta, aka stenmurklor here in Sweden. It's similar in appearance and habitat to morel mushrooms).

These companies employ experts who are able to identify the mushrooms which are brought in. They are sorted into various groups according to mushroom quality (ie. young, fresh, no worms, right up to mature and slightly worm eaten). Different classes of product fetch different prices, as do different species. Chanterelles and ceps of course fetch high prices, trumpet chanterelles less. These companies then clean the mushrooms and sell them on to the supermarkets fresh, or process them (drying or canning) on site and then sell them.

I agree with you DC Berry. I love mushrooms. They don't contain many calories but they are rather high in vitamins and minerals and have a flavour and texture which is difficult to find elsewhere. I read that most poisonings are from Death Cap mushrooms, but these types are so distinctive it is difficult to see how anyone could eat one by mistake. I find so many 'safe' mushrooms that I don't bother with types that are more difficult to identify.
 

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If you come across one of these on a cow patty in east Texas, it's edible.
This BTW may not necessarily be a Pan cyans it could also be a Psilocybe cubensis and you may very well see pink elephants or the prisms of the water vapor in the clouds or something totally sinister you just never know! Once eaten there is no turning back just remember it will come to pass in just a few hours so think positive and you come away a different person trust me!
One way to tell if it is a Pan or Ps is Pans have a black spore print and Ps have a purplish/black print either way if you eat any of these you may spends days trying to find your way out of that field! HA!

There is a type of Mushroom that grows on a Cow Patty that will make you see Pink Elephants. So I have Heard. :rolleyes:
 
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