Sunday, 1 November 2009
When did I first start gathering mushrooms? Probably more than 60 years ago, and so I felt fully confident in identifying an edible one. Yesterday, I found several perfect-looking specimens and until I came to prepare them, I had no doubt that they were edible field mushrooms- the shape, colour, texture, peeling skin, pale pink gills all looked right. Luckily I plunged my nose into the bag to enjoy that evocative earthy smell- but it wasn't there. The smell was strange, rather like strong disinfectant. As I removed the stalks, I notice a rim of bright yellow appearing. This sparked a deeply buried memory "yellow staining mushrooms". Although not toxic enough to kill, they can cause severe stomach upsets.