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     Mushroom heaven!  It was my good fortune to be escorted by my friend Carl to a forest bursting with an abundance of fungi.  Carl was able to identify each mushroom by its Latin name and sometimes its old Latin name and by its common name.  And we came back laden with treasures to savor later that evening.  Abby made his exquisite chanterelles risotto and I put together savory wild mushroom filo turnovers. Some excellent Chianti, and salad and what a feast we had.  That night I dried several pounds of Boletes and the house was perfumed by the wonderful musty odor of dry mushrooms. I loved it but other members of the family were not as appreciative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Carl had gathered many times this amount but we arranged these beautiful specimans to pose for this picture. 

 

     We ate samples of all these:  5 varieties of  Boletes (also known as Cèpes, Porcini or Steinpilze), 2 varieties of Chanterelles, several variety of Russula (including the lobster mushroom) and an Amanita Rubescence; one of the few edible Amanitas and my first taste of any amanita.  Carl is has assured us that he has never made any “mistakes”.  I would certainly not recommend that anyone eat wild mushrooms without the accompanying wisdom of a knowledgeable guide.  Sadly this past July a 61 year old woman died after picking some Amanita Bisporigera, also known as "Destroying Angels".  By the time she got to a hospital her liver had already been destroyed. 

 

     Wegmans does carry many varieties of wild mushrooms if you want to have your own feast without taking any risks.  The other day I found some excellent morels there.  Or you can buy many varieties dried.  Morels are actually better dried and then reconstituted.  And if you want to buy mushroom powder which, is usually made from Boletes, you can find this product at Regional Access.  Mushroom powder is a great addition to rich soups and stews.

    

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