Saturday, 4 October 2008

An Embarassment of Riches

Nicole and I went for a walk in some local woodland this morning and came across a real score. At the base of a fallen oak tree we found a MASSIVE fruiting of a species of fungus known as Grifola frondosa, (aka Maitake aka Hen-of-the-Woods.) We've only found this once before in our seven years of mushroom hunting. I can't tell you how excited we are. This fungus is rare, tasty, massively health-giving, and extremely picky about where and when it'll show itself. To top things off, this specimen was in it's peak of ripeness; a day or so later and it would have gone off or absorbed too much rain to be edible. Greedily, we took 4.5 kilos or about a fifth of the fruiting (mainly because we actually couldn't carry any more.) To make up for this shameless pillage, I passed on the location of our find to Hampstead's resident mycologist, Andy Overall.  Now for the lengthy task of breaking up, cleaning and freezing our find. Nicole's planning to make mushroom ravioli. Anyone hungry?