Monday, May 11
Saffron Milk Caps
Lactarius deliciosus. Delicious.
I was going to let the bloke try these on his own, better to lose just one parent than both, but the waft of the smell of them frying in olive oil and garlic after Id been out for a run, with no lunch behind me, threw my caution to the wind.
I didnt eat this beauty below which looks so sweet, but is so terribly bad for you. I merely took a pic of this newly emerged Agaric Amanita muscaria .
We found the saffron mushrooms around the periphal base of a group of pines, on a sloping site and tucked flat in the grass, not really in pine litter at all. If you weren't looking for mushrooms you would have walked right on over them. But we were on the hunt and two weeks after a good soaking and sunny days was bound to have encouraged something up! Being on the side of caution we picked only about 6 or so and we Googled them when we returned by looking through images of orange coloured mushrooms. We found an incredibly useful website for identifying Australian fungi.
Saffron Milk Caps or Red Pine Mushrooms
Concave cap with concentric circles - check
sticky and viscid when wet - check
crowded decurrent gills - check
squat orange stipe which is often hollow - check
Oozes a bright ornage latex ( milk ) when squeezed - check
They cooked longer than a normal mushroom to remove the slightly grainy and faint bitter aftertaste but tasted a little like chicken. They had a really nice flavour, and for me they werent too complex (mushroomy) or woody.
Apparently its a well known mushroom in Europe, here its an introduced species, well regarded but quite scarce, found in farmers markets occasionally. I think that its such an easily identifiable mushroom, you cant realy make an error in mistaking it for anything else. Actually, what gave me the confidence to imbibe was the fact that nowhere in our research did we ever find something like "often mistaken for..." or "easily thought to be something else which will kill you".
So i will return to our spot tomorrow and pick some more for my birthday dinner on Wednesday night! An easy mushroom find for the novice.
*update on saffron milk caps (red pine mushroon) here.