Monday, November 23, 2009

Wild mushrooms from Brooklyn

These were the immature stinkhorns as seen in a massive, mulched bed under trees near the deserted, disco-rocking skating rink in Prospect Park yesterday afternoon. Steve Brill said they were edible but dismissed them as tasting like styrofoam, but I pocketed one anyway.

Cut in half: the beautiful weirdness. It even LOOKS like styrofoam! Middle layer like jelly. Some online sources said this would make the thing stink while cooking.

I peeled the outside layer, leaving a charcoal, mottled pattern behind. Immature spores???

Below, with the oyster mushrooms*. As a child I was taught never to combine in a single bag/basket, edible and unidentified mushrooms, as poisonous fungi could contaminate the edibles? Um...anyone? But while I had my doubts about the flavour of the stinkhorn, I knew it was edible.

I sliced it into discs and sauteed with olive oil, field garlic and lemon. Pretty much ensuring that it would taste of olive oil, field garlic, and lemon.

Not bad. Bit rubbery. Next time I will peel off the brown layer, too: it was responsible for the slight toughness. No stink at all.

Pretty oysters. Same treatment, with field garlic greens.

Maybe a dash of soy would have been an improvement. Very good otherwise.

* Visit these 2010 blogposts for more oyster mushrooms adventures and here for cooking with field garlic.

And my edible weed article for Shelterpop for more about odd things you can eat.


  1. home with migraine today, much entertained by all your posts, far more interesting then my book.

  2. Can I do this too? Other than morels I've not eaten any mushrooms that I picked myself. Just not quite that confident. But I really want to try. You inspire me.

  3. I'm am so jealous right now. But I've looked up the local mushroom people, a plan will be made.

  4. When I was a child we cooked out wild mushrooms simply, in butter. But
    there was one weird-looking mushroom that called for a slosh of Worcestershire Sauce. No idea what it was or whether it still exists.Aerial crop spraying put an end to much wild foraging.

  5. dit is lovely. kuddos dat jy die kans gevat het.

  6. I saw lots of mushrooms this past Spring, never thought to eat them


    and the skating rink is not deserted it is just not open yet. Wait till Thursday.

  7. You're a braver forager than i am! even knowing that stinkhorns aren't poisonous, i don't think i would have wanted to try them. I've been told the same thing about not mixing fungi...and i would guess that a poisonous mushroom is poisonous all the way through, so it would make sense not to let it rub up against edible ones.

  8. Don't like the idea of climbing over fences which were specifically put there to prevent an invasion ! Maybe Steve has gone a step to far but what fun for a forager.

  9. flwrjane - sorry you are seeck :-( Hope you are better today.

    Pam - yes! - but do not try ANYTHING you are not 100% sure of. I know you know that...Books, internet, and then real humans, for proper ID. I'm am very jealous about the morels. o

    jvdh - English ones where the first mushrooms I ever wanted to eat, in my Sam Pig books, when I was little...I look forward to posts and pictures.

    Dinahmow - really, crop spraying? Yikes. Butter is best, methinks.

    Arcadia, dankie, 'n bietjie senuweeagtig (sp?) maar lekker.

    ChickenUnderwear! hanks for the links and skating tip...excellent news.

    QC - yep, the mature stinkhorns are disgusting-looking. But the round "eggs" don't resemble them at all. Still not wildly delicious, but worth it, I'd say.

    Hello Hen - maybe we can be in Cape Town for pinering season one year. Or all years. I don't know.

  10. We just tried stinkhorn eggs today. Followed your recipe. There are different varieties of stinkhorns, and ours were not so pleasant as you describe. Just glad we had some fresh radishes to quickly cleanse the palette.

    1. Well...I describe them as, "not bad, a bit rubbery." Hardly a glowing review! Do you know what species yours were, Anonymous?


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