Another edible mushroom we found on our hike with the Western Pa Mushroom Club was a bolete called Old Man of the Woods.
Boletes are mushrooms that grow up from the ground, and the underside has pores instead of gills. The Old Man of the Woods has characteristic black bumps along the top and stalk and has white to gray pores underneath. When bruised or cut, the mushroom eventually turns black. (Beware of boletes which bruise blue quickly, these are often poisonous.)
This mushroom was positively identified for us by members of the club, and we carefully wrapped it in wax paper and placed it in our bag with our other edible mushrooms (the chanterelles).
We’d heard the Old Man is a tasty mushroom, as long as you don’t mind it turning everything black as it cooks. In the books, though, we found it was “edible” but not worth eating. We decided to try it.
We sliced the Old Man when we got home
and sauteed it in olive oil, red onions and salt.
It did turn black. It is a meaty mushroom, though had a bit of slimy-ness to it. All in all, it was very good, reminiscent of portebellos.
A couple good mushroom guide books are National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides), and Mushrooms Demystified
), which is especially good for those on the west coast.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan has a wonderful chapter about mushrooms in it as well, be sure to check that out.