Chicken of the Woods… Er… Park

Two days of steady rain after a very very dry summer has prompted one of the most delicious fungi to bloom on abundance: Chicken of the Woods.

In Johnson Park, I found a 7-10 pound specimen, fresh and colorful. As its pores were white, and it wad growing a foot from the base of its host tree, this is a specimen of Laetiporus cincinnatus, one of the most prized of the “Chicken family.”

Unlike its close cousin Laetiporus sulphureus where only the tender outer flesh is soft enough to eat, most of it’s flesh is edible, save the very hardest parts in the core.

After “butchering” it at home, I was left with 2 cookie sheets full of nice-sized pieces, one of which is now freezing, while the other is safely tucked into the fridge for cooking up after the “taste-test period” is up.

Whenever I find a new 100% positive identification, morphologically and microscopically, I *always* eat a tiny bit and wait for a few hours to overnight to make sure it won’t make me sick Even with wild mushrooms I’m accustomed to, they aren’t cultivated in a controlled environment and could be affected by any number of things.

If these are good to go, I shall be delighted.


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