Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shaggy Mane



The Shaggy Mane, Coprinus comatus, is a common mushroom of yards and roadsides. In my recent post on The Chicken of the Woods, I commented that only fools eat wild mushrooms. Really what I meant is that only a fool would eat a wild mushroom based on MY identification! According to The Mushroom Hunter's Field Guide by Alexander Smith (1967), the Shaggy Mane is edible and choice.

Steve Weston, who helped me identify this mushroom, writes, "There are no toxic look-alikes. This is one that I like to eat. I take a pint of mushrooms and a package of cream cheese and melt them together in a frying pan. If memory is correct, that's all there is to the recipe. Great dip. A related mushroom, the Alcohol Inky (Coprinus atramentarius) is interesting. The mushroom is edible, except that it contains an amino acid that interferes with the metabolism of alcohol causing an interesting set of alarming symptoms if alcohol is consumed within the next 48 to 96 hours." Another name for this mushroom is Tippler's Bane.

Once Erika assigned me to her kitchen. I made lamb with mushroom sauce. I bought the mushrooms at a local grocery store, including a bag labeled "mushroom medley." The bag must have contained the Alcohol Inky that Steve mentions above. Erika and I were sick puppies. Erika missed work the next day, the only time in memory. Ever since I have had an aversion to wild mushrooms. My physician commented that the Alcohol Inky is sometimes used as a folk treatment of alcoholism--nobody will mix a bottle of wine and and an Alcohol Inky twice! Erika never invited me back into her kitchen....

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