April 2012 – Mushroom Hunting

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Wild mushroom hunting in Europe is fanatical, spawning a top rating show in Spain and actual murders in Italy over the secret location of prized fungi.

Trevor Sneath initiated us into foraging for the slippery jack (Boletus portentosus or Suillus luteus) and the saffron milkcap (Lactarius deliciousus) – a skill passed onto him by Polish friends.

There were tastings of prepared mushrooms dishes including pickled saffies and Carolyn presented some medicinal mushroom information and samples. Tim, a new member, identified another species brought along by a visitor as the tasty parasol mushroom. (unlike the other two this is NOT a mushroom suitable for beginners )

All information is provided as is without warranty. It takes time to develop the skills to identify edible plants including mushrooms – when in doubt go without!

  • The first time you collect any wild edible it is best to eat it sparingly.
  • Some people are allergic to mushrooms.
  • Save a small quantity of anything you collect for identification in case you have a reaction.
  • Collecting spoiled mushrooms or Improper food handling after collection will also cause food poisoning.


We had such an enthusiastic audience that despite the mizzle Trevor was eventually coerced into taking us out to the pine forest where a bumper crop of saffron milkcaps awaited. The slippery jacks found were somewhat past their prime but it was good to get a look at them in the wild. More notes

Please be aware that you will undertake this outing at your own risk. This is a pine forest and we will be off the beaten track – wildlife is present (jackjumpers, snakes).

Things to bring:

  • picnic lunch, drinks
  • small containers and a basket
  • penknife (on lanyard) or knife
  • paper bags and coolbag/esky icebrick for storage
  • notepad and pen
  • camera with closeup capabilities
  • walking shoes or boots, gloves, hat, insect repellant, raingear, first aide kit

grilled maitake served with warm salsa
List of medicinal Mushrooms:
Chaga – prepared as tea
Cordyceps – prepared as hot beverage cococeps
Maitake ( hen of the woods ) – prepared as dish grilled
Matsutake – prepared as dish risotto
Reishi – prepared as hot beverage
Shiitake – prepared as dish marinated
Snow Fungus – prepared as a dessert dish

Useful links:
Learn to distinguish the saffron milkcap (Lactarius deliciosus) from its poisonous cousin Lactarius deterrimus – False Saffron Milkcap , brown roll rims (Paxillus involutus) which look similar and also bleed although tending to be brown, or woolly milk caps (Lactarius torminosus) that are pink or red and have a woolly margin.

Tasmanian Fungi Festival 2012 Hobart Thursday 26-sunday 29 April. Events at the Tasmanian Fungi Festival are aimed at all levels of interest

2012 Tarkine fungi activities In May 2012, Fungimap, in partnership with the Central North Field Naturalists, will be holding some fungal forays in the Tarkine at Corinna.

Mushroom picking guide – Oberon visitor info centre

Prahran Market Mushroom Podcast! by Damian Pike Wild Mushroom Specialist

 Cytaria gunnii grows only on Nothofagus trees in Tasmania and southern Victoria.Australian National Botanic Gardens – online Australian Fungi guide

“Fungal brew”
From Lost Land of the Tiger ep 3
Brave BBC presenter Steve Backshall travels to Tibet and gets a taste of the famous mountain medicine – cordyceps sinesis, the caterpillar fungus.

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