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Mushroom ball

Discussion in 'Mushrooms' started by g squared 23, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Central IL
    I was walking in the woods and saw 3 of these huge fungi balls. They were almost the size of a volleyball (notice the black walnut just below for size reference.). What in the heck were these things!? Kinda rolled and stayed together when I kicked it.

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  2. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Central IL
    I'm completely a fungi rookie, but also saw a few of these in the same area. What are they? Either of these edible?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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  3. bigbendmarine

    bigbendmarine 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    Volleyball sized ones very likely giant pufflballs (Calvitia gigantean). Edible and one of the safest mushrooms to pick... if you slice it and the meat inside is still white, relatively firm, and you see no sign of any internal stem or gills (should just find entire mushroom is solid mass albeit with a bit of sponge-like texture), you're good to go on cooking it.

    Link speaks to a few ways to cook them...I've had them pan fried and they're well worth picking when you find them.
    http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/puffballs.html
     
    H20fwler and S.T.Fanatic like this.
  4. S.T.Fanatic

    S.T.Fanatic A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2017
    Location:
    Driftless Area SE. MN
    we have the puff ball type all over the place. Ive always wanted to try them but have never got around to it
     
  5. ruskbuckss

    ruskbuckss Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Top one is giant puffball.We pick a couple of different puffballs. The non edible ones have a black center.The smaller size giants are better than ones that get that big. I know people that love them, but I haven't been that impressed with them.
     
  6. Ben.MN/WI

    Ben.MN/WI A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Location:
    SE MN
    Puffballs are fun to kick, but that's about it. I've only tried them once and that was when I was in 3rd grade and the elementary school janitor found one and cooked it up for all the kids to try. That was 30 years ago, but I still remember them tasting like a sweaty tennis shoe that was rolled in a mud puddle.
     
  7. ruskbuckss

    ruskbuckss Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Wow, I don't think they are that bad,lol. I've just had so many other really good wild mushrooms that they are near the bottom of my list of edibles.
     
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  8. g squared 23

    g squared 23 Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Central IL
    They were definitely oddly satisfying to kick...


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  9. John-W-WI

    John-W-WI Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Chippewa County, Wisconsin USDA Zone 4
    Only when they are ripe and go "poof" when you kick them. It's disappointing when you kick one and all it does is go "thud".
     
  10. bigbendmarine

    bigbendmarine 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    Ok, maybe just me but found myself laughing out loud at the idea of a 3rd grader getting fed shrooms cooked up by a janitor. Are you 100% SURE he didn't store it in a gym bag and roll it around in a mud puddle before cooking it?! :emoji_wink::emoji_joy: Lord have mercy, can you imagine the legal forms schools would require nowadays for such a culinary experience?! Different world now for sure... in my Jr. High days every boy in school was actually REQUIRED to build a gun rack and not a SINGLE parent complained and one I built still holds a few guns at my parent's home... but I digress...

    Joking aside, I'll clarify my original praise for them by saying this... I would never trade chanterelles for them... but can't pick a safer mushroom for novices to properly ID / pick / try and being totally free when found hard to beat the price on them. Uncooked they really don't have much flavor at all, and the appreciation for them pan fried was likely more in serving as the vehicle for the breading and spices than for any great mushroom flavor alone. But on the sock and mud note, have to wonder if maybe the one the janitor picked was a day or two past prime / heading towards the spore stage? :emoji_thinking: I only ever cooked ones that were perfectly white and relatively firm when cut. Before they get to the brown / black dusty spore stage the flesh does start turning progressively yellow and I can totally see them picking up an unpleasant flavor as they start to turn.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  11. Ben.MN/WI

    Ben.MN/WI A good 3 year old buck

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Location:
    SE MN
    Yeah, it's funny how much things change in 30 years. I doubt my kids will ever come home with stories about trying wild mushrooms at school. Especially those picked and cooked by the janitor. He must have picked the right kind of mushroom and cooked it correctly though because I don't think any of my classmates died from that snack.

    I couldn't tell you why it tasted that bad, but I remember them being served up in cubes from a big cake pan. Everyone got a white fungus cube to enjoy. I can't remember a whole lot from 3rd grade, but I definitely remember that you're supposed to kick puffballs and not eat them.
     

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