It’s mushroom season in Western Mass. After all the rain we’ve had they’ve been popping up everywhere.
Berkley’s Polypore Polyporus berkeleyi
Mixed black birch and hemlock forest, Mt. Toby State Reservation These things can grow up to 50 lbs. And they’re edible. I had a taste: very much like steamed shredded chicken, except, you know, a mushroom.
Painted Suillius Suillius pictus, with slug.
Mixed oak and white pine forest, Mt. Toby State Reservation
update—turns out painted suillii are also quite good eating. After taking this picture and doing the necessary identification research, I found an absurd cache of them on an island in Pawtuckaway State Park, NH, tasted a couple, found them amazing, and subsequently devoured a whole lot of them as salad components and pizza topping.
Giant Puffball Calvatia gigantea
Grassy lawn, Sunderland, MA
Puffballs are dee-licious—firm and chewy on the outside, spongy and soft on the inside. As you can see I took this one home. I sliced it, sauteed it in butter until golden brown, and ate it for lunch!