Nutrition and DietWhat mushrooms are edible, how to clean and preserve them

What mushrooms are edible, how to clean and preserve them

Discover which are the edible mushrooms that you can find in your fields and forests, and enjoy them safely, simply and easily, with useful tips to clean and preserve them properly.

The time of mushrooms is approaching, undoubtedly one of the most characteristic, well-known and traditional foods of autumn, an extremely beautiful and special season in which other equally popular foods such as figs, chestnuts or persimmons are also common.

In fact, it is a pleasure at this time to take a walk in the countryside, spend a day of cold and pleasant rain and walk looking for them among the trunks of the trees and in the most humid lands. But they have a more than important peculiarity: we must know which are edible and which we can actually take, since some of them can be very toxic and dangerous to health.

From a nutritional point of view there is no doubt that mushrooms stand out for their very high protein content of high biological value , which means that they provide most of the essential amino acids and also a good amount of minerals, such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, sulfur, boron and chlorine.

The best edible mushrooms:

Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius):

It is a highly valued edible mushroom. The underside of his hat is covered with spaced pleats. It is easily identifiable because it has a uniform yellow color, its folds (or pseudo-blades) are very thick and the foot is shown in continuity with the hat. It is very recognized and easily distinguishable for its fruity aroma, reminiscent of apricot.

It can be confused with two toxic species: Omphalotus and Omphalotus illudens, although these are characterized by being larger in size and usually growing in groups on stumps of old trees.

Chanterelle factsheet:

  • Family: Cantharellaceae.
  • Other names: mushroom of San Juan, cabrilla.
  • Season: between early summer and autumn.
  • Where to find it? Low conifers and plan folios.
  • Blades: forms spaced folds, sulfur yellow with orange tones.
  • Meat: whitish or yellow. Its smell is reminiscent of apricot.
  • Cap: flattened diameter and then funnel-shaped, with sulfur yellow color.

St George’s Mushroom (Calotype Gambols):

Unlike other more autumnal mushrooms, the St. George mushroom grows only in spring. It has a strong flavor, although it is a mushroom that has a lot of meat. Its sheets are tight, and it appears above all on calcareous soils, forming witch circles among the grass.

It can be confused with the deadly white amanitas, especially when collected under trees.  In autumn it can be confused with Endosome livid, whose hat is pale and its plates, yellow at first, turn red.

Fact sheet on St. George’s mushroom:

  • Family: Tricholomataceae.
  • Other names: Spring mushroom, fine mushroom, Tricholoma georgii.
  • Season: Mainly in spring.
  • Where to find it: Under planifolios and conifers, between the clearings of forests, meadows and grass of the meadows.
  • Blades: Tight, cream-colored and yellowish.
  • Meat: White, firm. Its smell is very reminiscent of flour.
  • Cap: Fleshy, whitish or whitish gray with cream tones. It can measure 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter.

Negrilla (tricholoma terreum):

It appears in groups under the pines, especially on calcareous soils. It is easily collected because it appears in abundance. Its smell is very reminiscent of the aroma that the grass gives off when it is cut.

It can be confused with other species belonging to the same family, which are all equally edible.

Data sheet on bold:

  • Family: Tricholomataceae.
  • Other names: Mouse mushroom.
  • Season: Throughout the fall and early winter.
  • Where to find it: Under spruce and pine trees, in limestone soils.
  • Blades: Greyish or dirty white.
  • Meat: Smell reminiscent of cut grass, it is whitish and brittle.
  • Cap: Greyish in color, fibrous and conical, although it may have a pronounced central mamelon.

Edible boletus (Boletus Edulis):

It is one of the most popular and popular boletus. It is easily recognizable by its hat, with a brown color of an intensity that diminishes towards the edges. One of the most positive things about this mushroom is that it cannot be confused with any other toxic fungus.

Edible ticket fact sheet:

  • Family: Boletaceae.
  • Other names: Bordeaux mushroom, mushroom, pumpkin.
  • Season: From summer to late fall.
  • Where to find it? under conifers and planifolios.
  • Sheets: Not present. It does have white pores that tend to be yellowish.
  • Meat: Very white, although it can also be somewhat brownish.
  • Hat: Smooth surface that is usually oily when it ages.

Black boletus (Boletus Aereus):

It is one of the most valued boletus, precisely because it is not very common. It has a dark brown hat, along with a tremendously wide foot and whitish pores. Its meat is very firm, hence it is highly valued gastronomically.

Although it is one of the most delicious mushrooms, and perfectly edible, some people can present allergic processes when ingesting it (although it is not common).

Tab on the black ticket:

  • Family: Boletaceae.
  • Other names: Black head, tan boletus.
  • Season: From late summer to early fall.
  • Where to find it: Holm oak forests.
  • Sheets: Not present.
  • White meat.
  • Cap: Dark in color (blackish brown) and dry surface, it may present shaded reflections.

Reticulated Summer Ticket (Boletus Aestivalis):

It is a characteristic mushroom of spring and summer, usually disappearing in autumn when the cold begins. It has a dry surface, while its hat has a rather uniform color.  Depending on the environmental conditions, it can have a length of between 5 to 20 centimeters, and a thickness of between 2 to 8 centimeters.

It can be confused with Tylopilus felleus, whose pores have rubbed tones and its taste is tremendously bitter.

Fact Sheet on the Summer Reticulated Ticket:

  • Family: Boletaceae.
  • Other names: Reticulated fungus, boletus reticulatus.
  • Season: Throughout the summer and fall.
  • Where to find it? Under forests of holm oaks, cork oaks, oaks and chestnut trees.
  • Sheets: Not present. Yes, whitish tubes that tend to go from yellowish to olive tones.
  • Meat: White, with a characteristic smell of fungus.
  • Hat: Dry and somewhat velvety surface, brown in color.

Amanita of the Caesars (Amanita Caesarea):

It is an easily distinguishable mushroom due to its striking color, since when it is still very young it presents an appearance that is very reminiscent of an egg, whose white membranous volva tends to disappear to leave a beautiful mushroom for sale with an orange hat and on his foot what is left of the volva.

It can be confused with the Amanita muscaria (or false oronja), which has a discolored hat due to the rains, and loses the remains of the veil.

Fact sheet on the amanita of the caesars:

  • Family: Amanitaceae.
  • Other names: Oronja.
  • Season: Throughout the summer and fall.
  • Where to find it? Under forests of holm oaks, cork oaks, oaks and chestnut trees.
  • Blades: yellow.
  • Meat: White or somewhat yellowish, with a fungal odor.
  • Hat: Carmine orange color with whitish remains belonging to the veil.

Wild mushroom (Agaricus campestris):

It is one of the most popular and well-known mushrooms, easy to find in grasslands. The diameter of its foot tends to decrease when we approach its base, being for this reason easily distinguishable.

It can be confused with Agaricus xanthoderma, whose flesh turns very yellow (especially at its base), and which has a strong smell that is very reminiscent of sulfur.

Fact sheet on wild mushrooms:

  • Family: Agaricaceae.
  • Other names: Field mushroom, Psalliota campestris.
  • Season: Autumn.
  • Where to find it: Meadows and lawns.
  • Lamella: Intense pink color that turns chocolate brown.
  • Meat: White or slightly pink.
  • Hat: White or slightly paler.

How to clean mushrooms?

Once we have discovered that the mushrooms we have picked are edible (if you have doubts, it is best not to do so to avoid greater harm to your health), it is advisable to clean them properly before cooking.

Contrary to what you might think, it is not a good idea to rinse them under running water, or even leave them to soak, since this will only help them to lose flavor after preparation in the kitchen.

The best option to clean them is to use a knife, cutting the tip and scraping it to eliminate the different remains of soil and substrate that we can find on them.

When it comes to checking whether or not they have larvae, the best thing to do is to cut the hats, which is the tastiest part and where they tend to stay.

It is also advisable to check if the mushrooms are in good condition. This will be indicated by both its color and its aroma: the color, for example, must be the characteristic color depending on the variety (chanterelle mushrooms or chanterelles tend to be orange in color), while the aroma is fruity.

And how can we best preserve mushrooms at home?

When it comes to preserving mushrooms there are three ways that allow us to keep them until they are consumed, especially to prevent them from going bad. Of course, once you clean it, you can choose between these three options:

  • In a saucepan with boiling water, let them stand for two minutes to bring them to a boil.  Add olive oil to sterilized jars and keep them in them.
  • In airtight bags, you can freeze them to maintain their virtues.
  • Let them dry. To do this, you just need to string them on a thread and put them in a dry but airy place.

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