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A Delicious Gift! September 26, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Dinner with TCR, macro photos.
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2 comments

Driving through Buckland the other day, I spied three off-white clumps affixed to a slain golden birch.

Of course, I stopped to investigate, and unlike The Cat, my curiosity was rewarded with culinary gold – Hericium erinaceus,  commonly called Lion’s Mane. It’s a tooth fungus, highly prized for its intense mushroom flavor and its prolific fruitings.

Plus, it’s beautiful, so much so that it’s said to be delicious if you can bring yourself to pick it.

Well, I did. I had a long slender knife in the car, with which I sliced the baby-head-sized growths off the birch log. They weren’t brand new and pristine, but rather a couple of days old, but still firm and white.

I shook the bugs out of them (yeah, bugs know good  when they see it) and pocketed my booty, speeding home to make a great dinner at the right price.

Here’s a close-up shot of the “teeth” of this delectable tooth fungus:

They’re equivalent to the gills under the cap of common agarics  in that they’re the spore-bearing structures of this mushroom’s fruiting body.

And Holy Cow, did they make one one helluva cream of mushroom soup, sauteed lightly in butter, then added to a reduction of heavy cream seasoned with garlic and curry powder.

I’m two pounds happier for that find.  😉

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