Name: Puff Balls
Location: Dead wood
Months: Usually August and September (**Note I found some fresh new ones as late as November this year due to the mild weather!”
Edible Parts: The spongy middle if pure white (Remove skin and do not eat if it is turning yellow or green inside).
Non-Edible Parts: Skin (yucky)
Here’s what these puff balls look like when skinned.l They are spongy, pure white and have a bit of air in them so you can hear it escaping sometimes when you squeeze them.
Some puff balls have spiked skin and some are less wrinkly. All puff balls are edible.
They can be dried for storage just like any other mushroom but go great fried and added to burgers (especially giant puff balls which can make up a steak sized portion in your burger!).
Name: Jelly Ears, Jews Ears and more.
Location: On Dead Trees particularly Elder
Months: All Year Round
Edible Parts: All of the Mushroom
Non-Edible Parts: None
As you can see on this particular foraging trip we also found a variety of other goodies (a big field mushroom and around 2kg of sweet chestnuts). However, I’ll discuss those treats separately, for now I chose this picture but it shows very clearly what jelly ears can look like when very big! However, they look quite different when young:
- Cup shaped when young resembling an ear
- Rubbery/gelatinous texture
- red brown colouring
- Inner surface smooth and shiny, scurfy outer surface matte
Some of the cup fungi are inedible, distinguished by their brittle flesh (as opposed to gelatinous) and they grow on soil. If it’s not a tree, leave it be! (Please DO NOT apply this rhyme to all mushrooms… just the jelly ears).