Food The mushroom thread 2019

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Richard Zambuni, May 22, 2019.

  1. A lovely specimen of chicken of the woods found serendipitously on Wandsworth Common earlier today. It is destined to be cooked tomorrow. The first mushrooms of the year were as usual some St. George's mushrooms from Oxfordshire, but there's no photographic evidence. The St. George's mushrooms were a week to ten days earlier this year than usual because of the unusually warm spring.

  2. Didn’t find any St George’s mushrooms this year.

    If they were earlier that would explain it, as the campsite opens a week before Easter which was later, mind you we were rather underwhelmed by them last year.
  3. Lovely chicken of the woods Richard! One of my very favourites - there’s a tree not 100m from my house gave a fantastic bloom of these last year. I fear that means nothing this year, but I’ll keep an eye on it.
    Richard Zambuni likes this.
  4. The underside is even more spectacular!

    And Andy - don't give up hope. I've known chicken of the woods to appear in successive years on the same tree, but far from infallibly.
  5. Anyone found any morels? Regrettably this year I was away in the first 2 weeks of May, when they are sometimes prolific in Yorkshire. We had some lovely ones in Italy.
  6. Mark - to me eternal shame I have never found a singe morel. Of course, I would very much love to!
  7. By the way, if anyone attending WIMPS tomorrow would like a pice of this just let me know. I'm traveling to the US at the weekend and with WIMPS tomorrow, very little of this will get eaten.
  8. Is that simply because they don't exist in southern England?
  9. You need the correct soil Tom - sandy and sparsely vegetated. They can be found on the dunes in various southern England spots, but driving out on the off chance to try and find them is not worth it. Those who live close to the right habitat and can check in regularly might get lucky. A good friend who is also a mushroom forager has had his best finds in Wales - on and behind dunes.
    Thom Blach likes this.
  10. Up here we find them on somewhat sandy riparian soil, but not necessarily sparsely vegetated. They are often hidden under hogweed or butterbur leaves which are starting to develop at the same time. Sometimes, scouring the banks for morels, you can be fooled by young mare's tails just emerging from the ground.

    They are found here most frequently near elm, with which they seem to have a mycorrhizal relationship. Although our large elms have succumbed to Dutch elm disease, the root systems appear to have survived well, and once again we have some quite substantial elm shoots and bushes.

    Ours are the large, relatively lighter coloured morels -- morchella esculenta. I have found the smaller, darker, conically capped morels in pasture and under hedgerows in Hampshire, but these are not as tasty. The morels you generally find in restaurants are either this sort, or closely resemble them. Nothing like as good to eat as the esculent version.
    Richard Zambuni likes this.
  11. 10B32F5C-90C3-4FCF-9F17-AB7C2F5B78FF.jpeg A chap in Sandwich forages very successfully around the sand dunes of the golf courses there. Dunensis species apparently. Very tasty but unsurprisingly rather sandy so need a good rinse or two. Pic from about 6 weeks ago.
  12. Those are very similar in appearance to our Yorkshire ones, Jim, except that ours are rather larger. Ours are always full of grit -- a soft brush is effective in getting rid of it.
    Jim Agar likes this.
  13. I pass on a tip from Brett Graham of The Ledbury- rinse alternately with tap hot (55c) and cold water and the grit will shift quickly.
    I was lucky enough to enjoy what must have been Morchella Esculanta from Italy last week, absolutely superb though I suspect not inexpensive.
    Jim Agar likes this.
  14. Following on from mentioning him in the cookbook thread, in his recent book J. Kenji López-Alt took the trouble to weigh his mushrooms before and after washing them and offered sufficient data to convince me that the advice not to wash mushrooms was mistaken.

    I've found morels in town centres reasonably often. They seem to like the bark chippings that the council is so fond of putting in its civic flower beds. If that seems an odd location, I should add that I remain particularly pleased by discovering a bed of ceps right outside the ambulance entrance to the A&E at a hospital I was working at last autumn. I shall return.
    Thom Blach and Richard Zambuni like this.
  15. A lovely harvest of field mushrooms in Cheshire today

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