Monday, November 16, 2009

oyster mushrooms?

Can anyone help me?

I THINK these are oyster mushrooms, but as anyone who hunts for wild mushrooms knows...thinking isn't good enough! Plus, I WANT them to be oysters so much that I could quite possibly talk myself into believing it. I'd appreciate your input asap, so I have a chance to actually do something with these beauties if they turn out to be oysters.

Pros: (why I think they may be oysters)

-growing on dead/dying hardwood

bad cell phone pictures

-fan shaped

-no stalk or small stalk on side of cap

-white spore print (take my word for it)
-we've had several frosts in Shohola, plus recent rain and then a warmer spell

Cons: (why I'm not 100% sure)

-the gills don't run as far down the stem as I think they should

Come on people! You know I want to eat these babies! But I won't do it till I have confirmation, I promise.



At November 17, 2009 at 9:01 AM , Blogger Mum said...

Perhaps I should have added questionable mushrooms to corner curbs in NYC! But I do have great faith in your eye and survival instincts. Love, M.

At November 17, 2009 at 10:11 AM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

Ooh! These are growing on some of MP's gorgeous found logs at the nursery. They smell wonderful. Maybe we should try growing oyster mushrooms, for comparison purposes? I am definitely game for another attempt at mushroom farming.

At November 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

I think they're oysters. Check out this photo on Brill's site:
The gills don't go any further down the stem than on yours (though on some oysters they do, so I understand your hesitation)

At November 17, 2009 at 1:40 PM , Blogger Marie said...

Yours certainly look like them from underneath...Is there the danger of another mushroom that is very similar and rather deadly?

At November 17, 2009 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

Sara, that's another characteristic of the oyster mushroom: a pleasant smell! We're getting closer...

Leda, I looked at Brill's site before posting and I agree, it seems to confirm my i.d. I just wish Gary would get back to me!

Marie, no poisonous look alikes! Although some similar (and related) mushrooms aren't considered as delicious and need to be cooked longer.

I think they'll last a few more days in the fridge. After that I may have to dehydrate them while I ponder my options. If I never post again, you'll know why... : )

At November 18, 2009 at 11:31 PM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

We have lift off! I mean, confirmation.

Friend, colleague, and Mushroom Master Gary Lincoff says, "Of course they're oysters. What else could they be?" That makes me happy on two counts: first because I can eat them, and second because it means I've learned something! I know I've said this before, but Gary's Class (Mushroom Mania, BOT 361) is excellent and offered every September at the NYBG.

While waiting for the above confirmation I dried the mushrooms in my oven on L, which looks to be about 150 degrees F. I hope they'll taste ok; usually I dry mushrooms in my dehydrator at about 110 F, but since the dehydrator lives in PA and the mushrooms were in NYC the oven seemed the best choice.

At November 19, 2009 at 11:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats, Intrepid One! Ain't harvesting victory sweet?


At November 20, 2009 at 4:07 PM , Blogger Marie said...

I have a message for you, too. But you already know. Wildman Steve Brill says to tell you, yes, they are oyster mushrooms :-)He couldn't log into the comments.

At November 20, 2009 at 8:10 PM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

Marie! That was so nice of you to ask Steve on my behalf. Thank you.

At December 11, 2009 at 3:10 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

gads, i LOVE shrooms! they are so beautiful and yummy, to boot!

At July 3, 2010 at 7:38 PM , Blogger Vera said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At July 3, 2010 at 7:40 PM , Blogger Vera said...

Oh my gosh! My bf and I have just gone through the same exact guessing game. We'd found a rotting log chock full of what looked like oyster mushrooms. Everything (including spore print and the lovely raw aroma) matched up, except for the length of the gills. Mushroom Master's comment clinched it for me. We ate them tonight (in a garlic butter sauce) and they we SO GOOD. : ) Oh, and I love that you've found these in NYC!

At July 5, 2010 at 5:10 PM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

Hi Vera, It's not the time of year I'd expect to find oysters in the NYC area; they usually pop up after a frost when you've had some rain and a little bit of a warm-up. Where are you located and when did you find the mushrooms?

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