The Edible Rainbow

People often assume that all the coloured mushrooms are poisonous. Although the idea of this colour code cannot be entirely denied or avoided, the truth is that when it comes to these edible fungi, there are a lot of misconceptions that need to be clarified. So, let’s bust the myths around edible fungi.

Scarlet Elfcup

This one is a stunner in winter. It is hidden in uncovered areas that have been cultivated in sticks and branches buried in soil and organic waste. The mycelium digests a stick until the temperature drops and the arrival of winter is detected. It then sends a tree that unfolds into a fantastic cup of red flattened pillar-box when it reaches the surface. They usually have a diameter of 1cm to 8cm. They are often difficult to find despite their bright colours because they are clasped in piles of sticks or deep in bramble patches. Usually, you see a swarm of them in the same position when you see one Scarlet Elfcup. They are delicious to eat while retaining their meaty texture while cooking and have a great mushroom aroma. Beefsteak Fungus is another edible round that is easy to identify and has a deep red body that bleeds like raw meat with a thin red liquid.

Orange Peel Fungus

This is often mistaken for the orange peel, and the colour is not a warning sign. You might trot to collect the litter with a glance at a few meters, but a closer look reveals a thin, often snapped, bright orange plate. Like the Scarlet Elfcup, orange peel fungus is part of the cup or order Pezizales. It prefers the edges of trails, be it soil or gravel, and is abundant in the fall. Not as delicious or as smooth, but much easier to clean as the Scarlet Elfcup.

Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods)

It is a bright yellow, as its scientific name suggests, this time on its underside, which is good for us because it is usually found 1.5m or more up a tree trunk. Unlike the bright yellow found in the stems of the three poisonous Agaricus species, this yellow is found on a highly prized mushroom. The common name refers to the texture and flavour of this bracket fungus, which is similar to cooked chicken.

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