Today’s lunch

It was only yesterday that I said in an email to a friend that I hadn’t yet seen any edible mushrooms on the property this year.

This morning I went down into the back corner to collect dead stuff to burn off and found these:

These are Agaricus augustus. It is edible and I’ve found it and eaten it in the past without any problems  (like dying—a major problem, you’ll admit). Notice the spot on the top where I’ve scratched away the surface skin to check if it was a yellow-stainer, the related, but poisonous species, Agaricus xanthodermis, which is said to smell strongly of phenol or kerosene when cooked. When you cut into the flesh or stem of these, the flesh turns bright yellow almost immediately.

I fried mine in a little butter (they smelt good, like commercial  mushrooms) and had them on a roll for lunch:

This is the fungi book I use for identification. It’s by Tony Young. There are plenty of books and websites on edible fungi out there. It goes without saying to be very careful about eating any fungi unless you are sure of its identity:

Here’s how I go about identifying this species:

  1. See mushroom. Say “aha!”.
  2. Pick mushroom and look at gills. If pink>pinkish-brown, reserve for further ID. If white, or some other colour, throw away. Say “damn”.
  3. Remember that the poisonous yellow-stainer has pink gills, too.
  4. Cut through stem and scratch surface of top. Wait to see if flesh turns bright yellow.
  5. If not bright yellow, reserve for further ID. If bright yellow, throw away. Say “damn”.
  6. Look for pattern of small semicircular markings on top (field guide says concentric circles but here they’re semicircular).
  7. If correct markings present, take inside and reserve till mealtime.
  8. Slice mushrooms and gently fry in a little butter. Smell while cooking.
  9. If smell like phenol or kerosene, throw away.  Say “damn”.
  10. If smell rich and wholesome, like commercial mushrooms, place on steak or toast and eat, remembering (just in case), that Will is made and financial affairs are in order.
  11. Enjoy!

7 Responses to “Today’s lunch”

  1. narf77 Says:

    I am SO jealous of all of you mainlanders who are allowed to eat the mushrooms that you find. Steve (apparently caring husband) won’t let me eat ANY fungi, no matter how much I protest its inocence. I think he is terrified that I will die a magnificent death and he will be left here to fend for himself on Serendipity Farm…hiding under the bed with Earl till they come to take him to jail for spousal homicide. Sigh…I saw a slippery jack today in amongst some pine trees…its delightful yellow top shone out to me like a beacon amongst the fallen pine needles…I wasn’t even allowed to go NEAR it to check it out even though I am assured by Milkwood Farms last post that they are the only representitives of their family in Australia and are not only edible but are delicious! I am just going to have to go to university for 7 years and become a mycologist and I still have my doubts whether I will be allowed to partake of my precious wild finds. I loved your post it was hilarious! Keep up the delightful posting and the mushroom eating…I will show Steve this (most petulantly) like I did the Milkwood farm post. He says “The only safe mushroom comes from the supermarket”…FOOD MILES…sigh….


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi narf,

      I haven’t seen a slippery jack, but saw the Milkwood post. Need to find some pine trees it seems, or learn to cultivate them myself on bits of old wood, but I need to get the easier things out of the way before I tackle anything as challenging as mushrooms.

      I will keep up the mushroom eating, but if posts here suddenly cease you will know I made a terrible mistake!


      • narf77 Says:

        You had best post regularly or we will phone the police! Lol 😉 We have conifers everywhere in Tasmania…we also have those delightful Fly Agaric toadstools that make you think of fairies. They also make you think of turning blue and seeing God if you are foolish enough to eat them… the closest I have gotten to growing mushrooms is a box I bought from Bunnings once. Even then I got less mushrooms from that box than I did from a few bags of spent mushroom compost I bought a bit later on. I LOVE mushrooms and am thinking of becoming the human equivalent of a truffle pig (similar body shape) so that I may get to sample at least the odd bit of wild mushroom occasionally….


  2. Female Relic Says:

    “Aha” she says, you beat me to it, Foodnstuff! I was about to answer that we had had one A. agaricus up as of last week whilst S, K. & E. were down with us, and thought it time to search again….and you beat me to my reply! Good searching, and great writing….long may you continue. Have not tried a Slippery Jack yet but will try at first opportunity. Have you? 🙂


  3. L from 500m2 in Sydney Says:

    That’s hilarious! I think I’m too much of a wuss to eat foraged mushrooms, but I love the *idea*.


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