I found these mysterious things growing in my garden. The internet says
they're Morel mushrooms and they may be safe to eat. I would definitely like
a second opinion about that. I found this webpage with some information
And the photo of the ones in my garden is here:
Thanks for your reply.
Morels are the easiest mushroom to properly identify, and yes, they can
sometimes be found growing in a back yard. Your mushrooms do, indeed,
look like edible morels, but a full ID would require looking at the stem and
cutting one in half.
True morels have hollow stems that connect directly to the cap.
False morels either do not have hollow stems or the cap hangs down over
Check out these links:
A couple of years back we had a prolonged cool, wet spring and a couple of
dead or dying fruit trees in the back yard, which resulted in a spectacular
crop of extremely delicious morels.
You'd bet his life on it? He is 18 min. from Cuesta College, and 25 min.
from UC Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Seems a small price for an expert's
opinion, who would be in the presence of the mushroom, rather than
someone who is simply looking at a picture of it.
This isn't about your pride. Mushroom pickers die every year from
mistaken identity. Why shouldn't David avail himself of the very best
Contact some of these folks, they won't need to see anything other than the
A couple of these are Ca mushroom clubs, others are links to many dozens of
mushrooms clubs in N. American. Send the photos to ANY of them and they will
confirm what I say.
"There are none so blind as those who will not see"
Of course one should avail themselves of the best advise available, always.
There is ABSOLUTELY no other fungus that looks like that. Some are close,
but not like that. I've been picking them for over 40 years! Would you like
to wager that I'm wrong? I can't bet my life on it (I'm on the other coast)
but I'll cover anything up to a million or so (US, in cash of course).
I called Cal Poly. They didn't express an interest in investigating the
issue. They referred me to the local volunteer, master gardener program.
It's a program run by UC Davis. The volunteer told me to e-mail the picture
to them. I asked about bringing in a sample but I was told that they don't
do any scientific analysis.
Thanks for your reply.
You bloody fool, you have no idea of my level of expertise. Of course there
is no response to my wager. I can't believe the phobias that exist for wild
foods! If they were packaged on a styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic and
priced @ $30. per pound would you believe? I get $20.-$35. per pound from
the local restaurants anytime I have more than I can eat. I haven't poisoned
anyone in 40 years or so (read never).
Your ego is certainly larger than mine. I have little expertise with
mushrooms other than hunting boletus, and chanterelles at Salt Point in
Sonoma County. The fact remains that I don't know you, and have nothing
to base your expertise on, other than your word. All things being equal,
I'd rather risk my organism with someone who has a doctorate in
mycology. What part of that don't you understand?
It seems we have gone way beyond a discussion. The floor is all yours.
I finally found an expert. He came by the house and inspected them. After
giving me a thorough disclaimer about following his expert advice, he
consulted two reference books (both written by David Arora) and said they
were edible mushrooms. We went around and picked quite a few and he
explained the differences between the dry ones (they need to be soaked
first) and the fresher, moist ones. He said to cook and eat a small amount
to begin with and make sure that there were no food allergy reactions. If
everything was ok after that, then they could be seasoned to our liking. He
also said never eat them without cooking them first.
Thanks to everyone for your input.
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