Be sure before eating fungus


August 7, 2013 - 12:00 AM

Are they mushrooms or toadstools that are cropping up from saturated ground and nurtured by warm, humid weather?
We ran a photo of one and identified it as a mushroom in Tuesday’s Register.
It’s a toadstool, said a reader kind enough to take time to call. Continuing, the caller said she always had been told the difference was toadstools looked — well — like toadstools and weren’t edible. Mushroom, on the other hand, may be eaten and come in many shapes and forms.
The only mushroom that most folks hereabouts are certain of is the morel, which resembles a small Christmas tree. Morels show up in the spring and the window for the harvest is only a few days.
A search online found that a toadstool generally is described as an inedible or poisonous fungus with an umbrella-shaped fruiting body. Meanwhile, some mushrooms are inedible and some do take the shape of a classic toadstool.
Before slicing off any mushroom with the intent of cooking it up to garnish grilled burgers, make absolutely sure that it is safe to eat. After all, there are a multitude of varieties of mushrooms and appearances sometimes can be deceiving.
— Bob Johnson

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