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.


Veggie Gnome said...

There are several types in this family and most of them are tasty. They are best when put on a very hot barbie or hotplate. Haven't been game yet to go mushrooming in Australia, I only know the edible ones in Austria & Germany.

Oh and be aware that if you eat a fair bit of those mushies, your urine may turn a slight pink/red. Nothing to worry about, if you know about it beforehand. I never had that problem, but have been told about it.

Annuska said...

We get them when we go to Germany and Spain- so fun to spend some hours looking for them and then eat them! My mother in law makes a pasta dish with them, but also uses them to accompany wild. mmmh, I have to tell Nico that they can be found! He LOVES them! So how can I get to know the secret location? Are there any left? Is it in Jupiter Mines?

Barbara said...

Thanks for the link! My husband
and I were just talking about
how we should get some sort of
identification book ( we were in
the Flinders but no shrooms) -
we're always too scared to try
any foraged fungi besides the
common old brown ones!

Rest is not idleness said...

Stephanie Alexander mentions these mushrooms in one of her books, she does them with garlic, cream, parsley, butter and olive oil. Eating too much beetroot also has a similar effect on your urine!!!

Kel said...

veggie- im surprised. All that lovely food out here that most aussies have no idea about and youve got inside info!!!!

annuska- Im sharing, no problem!

Barbara- these ones are a no brainer. Im awaiting my order of "fungi of the Adelaide Hills , a new publication' and looks very handy. The website ive listed is alos very ggod, the owner seems to not be a 'ffodie' about her fungi but commenters give someg great feeedback.

Pip- any time to pass on stephs recipe in the next 24 hours??? im planning on a feast for my birthday tomorrow! P.S Im not looking!

littleecofootprints said...

Those Saffron Milk caps look so yummy! I was reading only the other day about how we are unnecessarily overly paranoid about poisonous mushrooms in Australia. Although i'm still not sure I would have the courage to eat wild collected mushrooms.

If you are feeling motivated to lodge records of your shroom findgings check out this site:


Anonymous said...

yep found them on walks with the dogs for the last few years, and have been a bit cautious to cook..even being a chef.
but this year have a few following and have hunted out some prime sites and fellow foodies and researched up can't wait to get picking!
have found them good after recent rains and sunny days prime as...also found those slippery jacks..and those great "fairy one's " just for the camera!