EATING SANTA’S SHROOM

Editor’s Observe: I’ve said this fairly a bit throughout the suggestions sooner than, specifically individual and throughout the physique of this publish. Let me say it but yet one more time, correct up proper right here to start out with: Besides you may be an expert mushroom hunter and also you’ll 100 % decide this mushroom, DON’T EAT IT. I wrote this publish for various consultants, not for merely anyone to suppose they’ve found A. muscaria. That’s essential stuff, of us. Mistake this mushroom for an extra amanita and also you’ll die. Critically. ~Hank

No mushroom presents additional of an enigma than the buy muscimol, Amanita muscaria. It’s essentially the most recognizable mushroom on the planet, and is extensively commonly known as the hallucinatory ‘shroom accountable for Alice’s journey into Wonderland and pretty most likely our beloved footage of a red-suited Santa Claus and his flying reindeer.

I’m not into hallucinations. Or stomach cramping, for that matter. So for years I let this beautiful mushroom cross on my mushroom hunts. Until remaining weekend. We had been ostensibly looking for porcini, Boletus edulis, nevertheless as any king bolete hunter is conscious of, the fly agaric is definitely a crimson flag indicating that a porcino is probably nestled shut by: They flush throughout the same time, in throughout the same place. And the place we had been on California’s Central Coast there have been 1000’s of muscaria, a crimson tide throughout the woods.

A youthful amanita muscaria
Photograph by Hank Shaw
As we walked, selecting porcini and completely different incredible boletes, I began having a nagging dialog with myself: You already know you’ll be capable to eat these amanitas, correct? Certain, nevertheless don’t they need every kind of crazy processing first? Possibly. Nonetheless you’ll under no circumstances get a better chance to experiment than with this flush correct proper right here, correct now. OK, OK. I grabbed a separate bag and commenced selecting.

I crammed a grocery bag in a short time. Truly, I might need crammed the once more of my pickup with muscaria. Nonetheless I moreover had an unlimited haul of porcini, the prize of the day. So I dealt with them first. My dehydrator ran morning and night for days. I made porcini powder, dried quarts of porcini, made porcini risotto, and even gave some current ones as Christmas presents. The entire whereas my sack of amanitas lay neglected throughout the storage.

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