One thing the wet weather we’ve been having is good for, I suppose – and it’s not good for much else in my view – is fungi. They’re springing up like mushrooms. I do remember, as a child, my sisters (I’m afraid I was never up that early) getting up around dawn and returning with baskets full of the things which my mother would then fry up for breakfast. Nothing more delicious.
I suppose, looking back, that sending two children in single figures out to gather growths that might have been tasty, fatal or simply hallucinogenic was a slightly risky enterprise. Presumably my mother must have known that the ones growing in that particular field were generally edible and would have removed any that looked suspicious. On the other hand perhaps we’ve all been hallucinating for the last forty years. Perfectly possible.
These, for instance, I snapped by the roadside while on my way to Lubenham on Sunday –
My guess would be that the first pair are edible, the second trio not, but this clearly isn’t a case where instinct is a suitable guide (and, unfortunately, they don’t have any labelling from the FSA). I also suspect that looking it upon the internet isn’t a very good idea either.
An interesting article on this same subject by Phil Daoust in Thursday’s Guardian (Only a few of them will actually kill you), containing what sounds to me like good advice – e.g. “You need to ignore every single rule of thumb that you will ever hear about how to tell a good mushroom from a bad. Whatever the rule, it will be rubbish.” but also “it would be a crying shame if we stopped eating them”.
Proceed with caution seems to be the message.