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Hericium up close

(NOTE: If you are not interested in growing this mushroom, but just finding and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site for Hericium.)

The Hericium. There are four or five kinds in North America, but it doesn't matter which one for the purposes of eating - all four are safe and good to eat. It looks like a white grouping of icicles. I have read they taste like crab meat, I don't know, I've never had crab, but I can tell you that a good fresh one cooked properly is very good. Again, the first time you eat any new food, especially mushrooms, only eat a little to be sure you are not allergic to it.

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The rules for picking are: Harvest only when very white in color. As they get older, the color changes to a tan or yellowish hue of white. When immature, they can be a pinkish hue. Carefully look for bugs hiding in them.

When cooking, fry in oil with onion and/or garlic until a light golden brown appears in thinner areas or on the tips of each "icicle". One thing to be aware of; they absorb water like a sponge, so if you do rinse it, place the slices on dry paper towel or a clean tea towel and press with another on top to soak out the water. It will just cook better.

Below, I've listed the ones I know of. The most common one I know of in kits is the first one listed, the Lion's Mane.

Hericium 1

This Hericium was found growing from a sugar maple log in a woods in mid October after a spell of cool weather and rain. I can't think of anything else that looks like a Hericium. Make sure it is very white in color - as it gets older it takes on a yellowish, or tan color. On eat the very white ones.

Hericium 2

This Hericium was growing from a sugar maple stump in mid October after cool weather and rain. The bits of dark spots you see on it are just leaf and bark litter that will wash off.

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Important Notes when Identifying
Some Cautions
Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching

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