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Discussion: Foraging

in: Ricka; Ricka > 2016-09-28

Sep 29, 2016 5:31 PM # 
I was at a Chicago steakhouse last night, and they had a menu item called Hen of the Woods. I didn't know much about it...until I read your post. Now I wish I'd ordered it to go with my NY Strip!

Amazing that they can grow to 40-50 pounds, freeze well, and possess cancer-preventing qualities!
Sep 30, 2016 2:56 AM # 
Now I realize that mine wasn't Hen but I suspect it was a close relative, Berkeley's Polypore (also edible) but not being certain and specimen was a bit old, I tossed it.

I'm more familiar with Chicken of the Woods than Hen - delicious! We saw two large collections at Pickle Springs CA last week. They are so distinctive that I was 90%+ sure of their ID but hadn't seen any in 2 years [and being a 'conservation area'], so I didn't collect any. I like them in omelettes, stir fry, or on pasta with minimal sauce and flavorings -- nice just braised in butter.
Sep 30, 2016 7:08 PM # 
matzah ball:
did you see the article in the post i think about the chef who wants to open a foraging restaurant? of course there's nothing like picking it yourself...but i new some education
Sep 30, 2016 9:37 PM # 
no, I missed that
Oct 1, 2016 1:10 AM # 
I believe that Conservation area regulations generally allow the taking of wild mushrooms for personal consumption. That info. was confirmed with a very reliable source!

I've always wanted to try Hen/Chicken of the Woods. We had a huge group of what I thought were Chicken OTW on a large dead oak in our woods, but we were too, ahem, *chicken* to try them. So we're stuck w/ Chicken of the Sea instead.
Oct 2, 2016 7:29 PM # 
Check a couple websites for standard pix of Chicken of the Woods and locations (oak trees -- avoid if on conifers). But they are about the easiest edible mushrooms to identify and find.

I find that Hen of the Woods is not quite as distinctive -- I'd need an expert with me to trust those the first couple of times.
Oct 8, 2016 1:59 AM # 
I looked at your pic and the pics I took of our mushrooms and I definitely think it was Chick. OTW! I don't know what the underside looked like but it seems there aren't many imposters. The colony was huge!! Next time...

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