Thursday, September 28, 2006

Whaddya Think? Should I Eat 'Em?

After coming home from a future job reconnaissance mission at the Politecnico in Como (yeah, that's "Lake Como"; I'm planning on sipping Martini with George after each class), I found these tiny little mushrooms growing in the soil of my Cavolo lacinato (dinosaur kale) pot. They seem so innocuous, almost vulnerable that something is pushing me to taste them. About 5 years ago I bought a field guide to North American mushrooms that was meant to help me forage for morels and puffballs in the forests of Minnesota. Never did I have the nerve to take anything home to the sautee pan, not even one specimen that really looked like a porcini. So I'm now regretting my caution, scared I'm getting a little boring. Not to mention my great track-record with dangerous foods leads me to feelings of invincibility. I can take on 3 measly little mushrooms. Right?

These 3 guys don't look like they would hurt a fly, do they? For the moment they're waiting in my fridge. They have no scent whatsoever and you see what they look like, so what do you all think? Should I eat them? Unless someone with demonstrable knowledge of wild mushrooms gives me an unmitigated "YES!", they're going into the compost bin. Lemme know what you think.


Blogger Tracie P. said...

alice did it...

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a tough one, Susan. They are pretty, but I dunno...

They look kinda like elongated straw mushrooms.

The only time I've ever eaten mushrooms I picked myself was in Florida many years ago, when a guy I worked with assured me they were psychadelic. He was right, as it turned out.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I'd take the risk Susan - do it.... what's the worst that could happen?

I believe there could be four possible things that could happen...

1. Nothing
2. You go on a psychadelic trip
3. You get queazy and sick
4. You die

Ok, wait - maybe you shouldn't... 1/4 chance of dying isn't a risk I would take.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Estelle said...

In France you can bring your mushrooms to a pharmacy and they should be able to tell you exactly what it is: pharmacists study mushrooms at the university. I'm sure it's the same in Italy.

1:38 AM  
Blogger Ilva said...

Taste a little bit, if they are tasty they are supposed to be edible! Poisonous ones are supposed to be bitter but who knows? Did anyony survive to contest this teory? I have never tried myself as I am scared and boring myself when it comes to mushrooms.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd put'em gelato first ;-)

9:38 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Tracie, Wasn't that in the Jefferson Airplane version? "One pill makes you larger aaaand one pill makes you small..."

Scott, Wow! You actually found Magic Mushrooms growing wild!

Ooh Bonnie, #s 3 &4 are what are keeping me from doing this.

Hi Estelle, yeah, I've mentioned this fact to Italians and they all have said, "sure, the pharmacist studied mushrooms HOW many years ago? Did (s)he do well on the exam? In other words, they have little faith in their pharmacists. Have you evertaken mushrooms to a French pharmacist?

Hi Ilva, I'm leaning on tossing them.

Hi Rowena, Yeah! Chocolate, mushroom, garlic ice cream! Yahoo!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Laurene said...

DON'T DO IT!!! If they are poisonous, even taking a "tiny bite" could be enough to do you in (& it's a horrible death, I hear). Better safe than sorry. Leave the choice of mushrooms to professionals & live to see another day.

10:24 AM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

we have some crazy-ass mushrooms growing in the woods after a good rain... every size, shape and color. i have never eaten a single one, so your courage is quite amazing to me! let us know what the final word is...

12:38 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Artemisia, Thanks for the warning. I'm almost certain to heed it.

Hi Melissa, Hey, I know, ask Scott (he seems to live near you) if he could identify any of those crazy ones for you. He seems to know the magic ones from the others! ;)

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa, were they growing in cow shit? That's where the reeeeaaaalllly good ones turn up.

Susan, I don't think there are very many poisonous mushrooms, beyond the death cap, that would do you real harm, but I know I'd be too chicken to try without a close friend to give me the okay. I do the same thing - find cool looking shrooms in the yard, pick them, consider them, and compost them. When I seem to be considering too hard, my wife usaually gives me the highly arched eyebrow, and that's enough to end my speculation.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Corrie said...

i'm with rowena. :) no seriously, don't do it susan! aack! be careful!!


11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my father ate mushrooms that he picked from the yard and ended up in the hospital with heart troubles. evidently the mushrooms had some type of hallucinogenic(sp?) in them. the ER doc wanted to know if my dad had taken any drugs that day and that's when we put two and two together.
i wouldn't eat them!

1:02 AM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

scott-- although we hear cows mooing in the morning, i don't think any have wandered into the yard. maybe cat or dog poop?

so, susan, did you eat them or not??? i keep thinking of you.

9:17 PM  
Blogger BETUL said...

Susan, you can eat mahlep with milky puddings for the sake of food blogging I said before.. But not these ones, pleeasee.
Susan, are you there?

1:09 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you everybody for talking some sense into me. Today, the mushrooms (much the worse for wear in their plastic wrap in the fridge) got composted and I'll live to see another day. They probably wouldn't have tasted good anyway. Probably would have been as bland as their scent...aah sour grapes...

1:30 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

dangit! I was gonna say eat them.. and take pictures of what you see! ;-)

4:30 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

I'm late, but heck, either you ate the mushrooms and lived to tell the tale, or you didn't eat them!

OK, I just read through all the comments - you didn't eat them. Phew, I am relieved actually!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Estelle said...

Hi Susan,
Sorry for the late reply but yes, I have taken mushrooms to a pharmacy in France several times. It was in a village in the Alps and I guess they were used to helping people with this kind of stuff (there are woods and mushrooms all around). At least they know the most tasty species. Anything else can be discarded, poisonous or not.

1:13 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lea, oh well, a missed opportunity in some senses.

Hi Lotus, Yep, I wussed out.

Hi Estelle, That is so cool! I love the part about the less tasty ones getting tossed out along with the poisonous. ;) I just heard that the local public health office (the primary care clinic) will check mushrooms for you her ein Italy. Next time, I'll go to them!

9:39 AM  

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