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Slim

Dryad's saddle (pheasant's back) - worth eating?

They're out, and the morels aren't yet. I know they're edible, but are they worth eating?

Tips? Tricks? Recipes?
Jam Lady

I collected, cooked, consumed dryad's saddle once. Have not bothered again, which should give you an idea of my opinion.

I belong to the New Jersey Mycological Association. The majority of the members adore any and all fungi. I'm what they refer to as a "pot hunter" - only interested in deliciously edible mushrooms. These are generally chicken of the woods, Laetiporus sulphureus; hen of the woods, Grifola frondosa; chanterelles both golden and the scarcer black ones. Oyster mushrooms. Hedgehog mushrooms (once, very nice they were too.) Morels - one mushroom, once. People don't like to share where the wild morels grow. Giant puffballs - so they take on the flavor of what you cook them together with. Didn't impress me.

And of course it all depends on rain and the weather temperatures.

Care to share any favorite recipes? I'll go first: Hedgehog Mushrooms
Hairyloon

I've heard you can make quite a good "mushroom" sauce (ketchup?) with it, but I have never been moved to try.
I will try to remember to ask the local foraging expert when I see her next.
Slim

Jam Lady, I'm pretty much in your boat as to what I collect, though I've never come across hen of the woods yet. The only other edible I've found but not collected were pig ears (actually my SO found, I walked right past them). Apparently they're quite tasty?

As for giant puffballs, we made puffball parmigiana last summer, with puffball in place of eggplant (which is my least favorite vegetable anyway). It was amazingly delicious. Puffballs were collected fairly young and tender which may have had something to do with it (about the size of a softball)

I've found morels by old apple trees, and keep checking dying elms as I've been told that's a good spot, but have yet to find them by elms. The most morels I've ever collected were on wood chip landscape mulch! (tons of them)
Jam Lady

Slim, I'd be cautious about morels in an old apple orchard. There was a case where someone became deathly ill. Turns out the apple orchard was old enough that arsenic spray had been used. Sufficient was in the ground that the morels picked it up. Man eating morels had arsenic collect in his body fat. When he went on a diet and lost weight the arsenic was released and symptoms occurred.

I found a 22 page PDF about morels / apple orchards / lead arsenate spray / illness from 2009 about this but am having no luck with copy / paste
tahir

You should be able to attach the PDF
Slim

Yes a good reminder! Lead arsenate was pretty common in New England orchards, and fungi don't exclude heavy metals to nearly the same extent as plants (which also should be considered as to their content!)

I'm not at any risk of high exposure myself (probably eating about 2 morels every 5 years on average for the past 15 years, and only 2 of those coming from an apple association)
Jam Lady

Tahir, all I wanted to copy / paste was the most relevent paragraph. Could snip, couldn't paste. Why clog things up with 22 pages not all of which was important / relevent / necessary to share.

P.S. Did you ever read the preserving book?
Slim

Did you use the snipping tool, and paste the resulting picture into paint? I believe a snip will be an image, and then you'd have a picture file you can upload.
Jam Lady

Slim, heretofore - I use the snipping tool. Then just right click and tap "copy" the snip. Move cursor to my Downsizer reply box and tap "paste". Only this time it didn't want to cooperate. No matter.
tahir

P.S. Did you ever read the preserving book?


I should have took it on my hols. Just too busy (still). We appear to have lost most of our apricots and cherries to frost so probably won't need to look at it this year Sad
Mistress Rose

Sad you have lost your fruit. I heard that a lot of grapes have been lost to frost here in the south too.

We once had morels on some bark mulch too, but I think they prefer conifers and we have almost exclusively hardwoods, so no morels.
Jam Lady

A foraging blog site with a recipe for dryad's saddle teriyaki style: http://foragedfoodie.blogspot.com/2014/05/dryads-saddle-mushroom-teriyaki.html
dpack

very young saddles are just about edible, old ones are less appetising than the tree they are growing on.
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