Mushrooms in the North

Look at these amazing mushrooms from northern Ontario!

Many mushroom varieties

Walking through the woods in Northern Ontario, we came across this downed log which was covered in some amazing mushrooms.

Chanterelle mushrooms on a log
Chanterelle mushrooms

It was this log filled with different varieties of mushrooms that sparked an interest for me to understand what I was looking at. Are they poisonous? How can you tell?  I purchased two books on foraging, one specifically for Ontario, and of course I was all over the internet.  I also sent my pictures to a professional forager for his opinion.  We were not eating anything until I was absolutely sure.  His name is Don King, a chef and forager  http://www.themushroomhunter.com/ – thank you Don for your guidance.  He was super helpful in identifying some of the mushrooms for me, and advising some were questionable.

Here is another link for Chanterelles and their copy cat Jack-o-Lanterns http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/chanterelle-mushrooms.html#sthash.wjmY6PCn.dpbs

Crown tipped coral

This is a beautiful display of a very large Crown tipped coral, which is edible and delicious! There are also many pear shaped Puffballs scattered around the log, which are also edible and delicious!

When we went back the next season, armed with the new knowledge of what was okay to eat, this log did not produce remotely the amount or same mushrooms at all. However, we did find many other varieties because we knew what we were looking for, mostly. Always approach with a great deal of caution.

We cooked them up in a skillet with some butter and garlic – YUM!

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