Yesterday saw me again walking the Soar.
Despite frequent bursts of radiant sunlight, as per the above, much of the day was overcast, damp and warm – perfect conditions for fungi. Dispersed across this meadow I came across cluster after cluster of snowy waxcaps.1 Should have taken photos in situ but forgot.
I could have gathered far more, but I know of old that no one else at Steel City House will trust my identification skills sufficiently to risk eating. More fool them, I say.2
My main concern was finding a suitable receptacle but, as they so often have, Walkers came through for me. Back home I gently slit open the sides of the packet, dotted in places with crisp fragments.
They can stay, but it’s out with those grass stems, a few brisk snips of the scissors to remove soil, then into a pan lightly greased with olive oil.
Onto a waiting plate, with a slice of sourdough.
- None of the waxcaps – which include some of the most beautifully coloured fungi – are poisonous. This short video, just under six minutes, gives a useful overview.
- Says wildfooduk.com: “Care should always be applied when foraging for mushrooms with a white cap, white gills and a white stem as some of the most poisonous in the UK are white all over.” Says I: know your snowy waxcap from your fool’s funnel or destroying angel. If you’re lazy like me, rather than learn all the edible mushrooms – whose name is legion, ditto the mildly poisonous and/or simply unpleasant to the taste – learn to recognise the few real killers in your country. Most of the UK’s truly lethal fungi grow in woodlands rather than open meadow but one or two species of the field can make you decidedly ill.