Return of the Shaggy Parasols, 2010

KevinForaging, From the Garden, From The Wild, Mushrooms12 Comments

I’ve posted about these fantastic wild mushrooms before. They are, quite possibly, my favorite mushroom, period – and somehow I’m lucky enough that they grow in my backyard completely by chance. My mom ID’d them as shaggy parasols a few years ago when they first appeared in our back yard – she used to pick them every year out of a neighbour’s yard, hoping to snag them before the mower got them. Here, they’ve come back every year, always in slightly different locations around the drip edge of my apple tree. There’s some poetry in that, no? Judging by my previous blog post dates, they tend to appear either mid-late July or late September. Fortunately for me, I’ve made some new friends who are hardcore into foraging for local wild mushrooms, and it was suggested that I take a spore print of a cap to make a positive ID. As they have a toxic lookalike, this seems like  a sensible step. Although my annual consumption of them and lack of resulting death leads me to believe that I have the good, not evil twin, I’m sacrificing a cap in the name of  future safety. I’ve got one cap on a sheet of white paper with a bowl atop it for many hours, and have been instructed to report the color of the spore print. Never done this before.

Because this ID presumably takes a day or so, I was certainly not going to waste the balance of the 2 large mushrooms I had to work with. Below are many photos of what the mushroom looks like, and how I prepped it for consumption post-ID-confirmation. They are fabulously girthy mushrooms, and the pan holds but one cap and two stems. Shaggy parasol scrambled eggs with wild onion anyone?

***Don’t die eating wild mushrooms that you haven’t ID’d and blame it on me. Wild mushrooms can be vile-nasty-toxic, and this is my disclaimer that it’s not my fault if you mess up and get disastrously ill based on the information above. I’m just sayin’.

12 Comments on “Return of the Shaggy Parasols, 2010”

  1. Ferdzy

    Cool. I don’t think I’ve ever seen those. Shaggy manes, yes. And I promise if I die eating wild mushrooms I won’t blame you. Can’t speak for my executory, though.

    When I was in Spain I had to make a brief trip to the hospital (nothing serious) and I was amused to see that the main features of decoration in the waiting room were 2 enormous mushroom-identification posters. Presumably so that you could point, as you gasped your last.

  2. MakiB

    I’m sure the omelette tasted fantastic. Great pics. I won’t touch a mushroom growing in the wild because I have absolutely no idea.

    Like how the website is coming along. Looks great.

  3. Mel

    Very neat. I’m way too scared to eat wild mushrooms – I’d have to take an expert with me. I think the spore print is definitely a good idea!

    Just based on their size and apparent texture, they seem like they’d be similar to a portabello – does that hold true in the flavour department?

  4. Kevin

    Ferdzy – I can’t say I’ve seen loads of them. I’ve only seen them in two locations ever, one being my back yard!
    Maki – No omelette yet, waiting for the spore print. Hence, perhaps, me still being alive?
    Mel – I posted these tasting notes in 08: “far more standard ‘mushroom’ flavor profile than the shaggy mane – which has a unique edge to it that this lacks. This is far more likely to please the masses [aside from its potential…toxic…issues?]. It really seems like a giant, delicate portabello cap, with really interestingly textured gills. As odd as it sounds, it struck me a few times like a white fish. It smelled a touch fishy raw, as well as cooked – and has a similar taste and texture to a delicate white lake fish. This paired with perch would be a bizarre marriage of mushroom and fish. I also think it would make a superb stuffed mushroom cap – it’s gill endowment catching loads of flavors.” They were wormy and dessicated last year, so this year will be the first go at them since those notes were taken.

  5. Barry Preuett

    Very cool Kevin, I’m glad you posted the disclaimer though as there are quite a few edible wild mushrooms with almost identical lookalikes residing in the “evil” wing of the mushroom world. Very cool that they grow in your backyard, maybe one day you’ll have yourself a mushroom fairy ring (look up fairy rings if you are unsure what they are).

    What other shrooms have you found up there? Around here (midwest USA) we have morels, puffballs, Shaggy Manes (have to pick them young before they turn inky), Coral fungi (I’ve yet to find any of these), Bearded tooth’s and Oyster’s, Chanterelles, Bolte’s, and Hen of the woods.

    Interestingly, I did a survey one year of the types of fungi present on about a 10 acre plot of random woods over the course of 3 months and found nearly 100+ different types of fungi from both the edible and deadly families. Was really cool and really opened my eyes to the biodiversity of fungi around my neck of the woods (which is why I’m curious as to what types of other fungi you’ve found up there).


  6. Kevin

    Barry – I believe there is a fairy ring developing in my front yard, even on lawn that I actually intend to keep! I have some luck, apparently. This post: shows some of the local mushrooms – I took pictures on a walk through a ravine at a prolific time of year. We do get puffballs and shaggy manes [big fan], but as for the others I’m not familiar with local spots for them, although we do get may of them in the province [morels, for ex].

    100+ types of fungi on 10 acres is indeed impressive – I would have guessed a quarter of that, maybe. They’re definitely underfoot a lot more than we know – hence my interest in writing about it in the context of local wild foods. A riskier food, no question, but developing some knowledge about them will hopefully do us more good than harm.

  7. A Canadian Foodie

    Did you get the information back yet? If mom says it’s good, and she cooks with it, that usually works for me. Lucky you to have them growing in your yard! I don’t think I have every seen such a large mushroom growing in anyone’s grass. We just came home to two fairy rings had them also 5 years ago. Vanja is trying to remember the solution. It worked well. Too bad they are not edible!

  8. Kevin

    Valerie – yep, the next post was the spore print and result: they’re indeed Shaggy Parasols.
    You may want to look further into the edibility of fairy ring…

  9. Liz Thomas

    I have the same ones here at cooking Lake, and I just picked a big apple box full., and there are more out there I just want to make sure they are
    are safe, what do I look for in the spore count?

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