Which Mushrooms Are Edible?

Which Mushrooms Are Edible?

Which Mushrooms Are Edible?

Edible mushrooms include the chanterelle, white, oyster, portobello and shiitake varieties. Many wild mushrooms that are toxic to humans, such as jack-o'-lanterns and false morels, bear a resemblance to edible varieties.

Chanterelles are a popular wild mushroom easily recognized by their golden yellow or bright orange caps. Chanterelles have a fruity flavor similar to that of peaches or apricots with a hint of pepper. Chanterelles grow on the East and West coasts of the United States. The West Coast variety produces clusters that weigh up to 2 pounds. The common cluster of chanterelles on the East Coast grows to about the size of a fist.

The toxic counterpart of chanterelles is the jack-o'-lantern mushroom. The jack-o'-lantern mushroom has an orange interior compared to the chanterelle's pale meat. The gills of a jack-o'-lantern mushroom are non-forking and lack the typical appearance of chanterelle gills. Eating a jack-o'-lantern mushroom can result in an individual suffering from excessive amounts of sweating, tear production, salivation, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually appear within 30 minutes after eating a jack-o'-lantern and subside within 24 hours.

The false morel is commonly mistaken for the morel mushroom, but it lacks the honeycomb texture and appearance of a true morel. A false morel is further identified by its wrinkly smooth texture and hollow interior.