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New York City & Long Island Mushrooms & Foraging Chlorophyllum Molybdites "False Parosol, Vomiter"

Discussion in 'New York' started by greg bowser nyc, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Yes, but not on purpose and I regretted it later becauase it was eaten

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  2. No

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  3. No and I never would

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  4. No but I would or want to in order to learn and gain knowledge

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  5. You are crazy and your thread is way too long

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  1. greg bowser nyc

    greg bowser nyc Morel Enthusiast

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    So, recently a new State Park was opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC known as Bushwich Inlet State Park. I live a few blocks away and have a 19th month old boy the day of this article (July 4th 2017) so I have been frequenting the park to let the little guy have fun. The first time I went this year I noticed a bunch of berry trees, with what appeared to be edible berries. I confirmed they are mulberries. Then I saw another berry tree with berries that didn't appear edible, near the children's play area, however I noticed a bird stop in the tree and gluttonously devour so many berries in such a short period of time that at that point I was convinced the berries must be edible. So I researched and (lucky me) one of the five books in my kitchen I turn to first for identification had it in there: Juneberries/Suskatoons/Serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.). Anyway my son loves eating berries and we have a regular ritual to go to the park, he gorges on berries while I pick them as fast as I can while he went from one berry at a time to giant fist fulls now. Anyway the park has about 40 edible berry trees that I can easily think of the aforementioned two species if anyone wants to know where they can go and walk 10 feet from their parking spot and get as many berries as humanly possible.

    While on one of my numerous trips here this year (first year I started actively going to this park) I have been doing full recon for mushrooms. I was shocked this spring to see so many different species which I recognized, although I never caught them at the the right time, mainly way too late. So recently, when summer came around I finally observed some pinning and very early stage "field" mushrooms next to the soccer field, along the walking path between the soccer field path and the playground. The first mushroom I almost ate a few years ago was one of the deadly amanitas so I am more cautious than I would be usually if I don't find the same mushroom in many stages (early, mid, and almost inedible) in the same location.

    I took photographs which are included in the thread which will show you all of the stages and relative sizes (I use my hand for reference). The characteristics of the mushroom pointed strongly to amanita, so much so that when I sent pictures to a well known famous forager, he of course told me it is hard to id in person and recommended I not eat it, however his reaction was "the blusher," amanita rubescens. I had never had nor found one of these which is why I couldn't narrow down what I had found from personal experience, assuming his identification was correct. I have eaten many species of field mushroom and I have a pretty good idea of what a mushroom is or isn't as long as I have seen it once. The pictured mushroom I had found definitely wasn't one of the deadly ones, I was sure enough of that to eat it. I was very close to sure after my friend pointed me towards rubescens, that it must be that given the characteristics which I will describe below, however I go foraging a few times a week or as often as reasonably possible for a few years now, read for an hour or two minimum before and after, and something about the mushroom didn't quite fit correctly. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding amanita rubescens, so much so that I now know its DNA is genetically different than its European counterpart, the true blusher, and the American version was even given its own name: Amanita Amerirubescens and Amanita Flavorubescens. There is more. If an amanita rubescens, European or American, grows near a "Panther Cap," Amanita Pantherina, the two sets of spores can and will hybridize creating a new mushroom sharing the characteristics of both making it hard to properly identify because the traits will be slightly off, apparently the telltale being the blush isn't so red or red at all anymore.

    Having eaten many many different species of mushrooms and after spending a few days of intense research to help identify what I had found, I decided to eat one cap knowing for sure it wouldn't kill me. I had ruled out any of the deadly mushrooms. Oddly enough when I put the cap face down in the pan the cap started to change color, or blush. This made me more confident. As I drooled over what was to come, I turned it over so the gills were facing up in the pan, and something wasn't right. The gills were a gorgeous turquoise blue I had ever seen before with any mushroom. My inclination for eating a small amount to see if the mushroom was what I thought it was, is premised in the fact that I had a whole fridge full and the park produced a lot of mushrooms, like a good flush would yield 100 caps. I stopped cooking the mushroom, sent pictures to my friend who identified it the first time, he called me to tell me he has never seen the gills turn that color either (he has been doing this for a living for 40 years). He told me to take a spore print and check, which I agreed was prudent because maybe this was a new or hybrid. Alas the next morning I had a buff spore print with a green tint. My wife said yes unmistakably green. Based on the spore print and the rest of the characteristics it was for sure Chlorophyllum Molybdites, which is what the expert thought it could be the night before.

    How did I make such a mistake, especially when I consider myself careful and thorough? I didn't make a mistake, that's why I decided to put this very long post up because nobody else has on the internet except on other person who actually ate them from his misidentification. His mistake was similar but I checked the traits three times per day for three days and kept going back to the park to see a large specimen to be sure. This was three blocks away from where I lived. Here is what I learned and what had happened:
     
  2. greg bowser nyc

    greg bowser nyc Morel Enthusiast

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    #1. As anyone who has experience knows, you can go back to the same exact spot for the same mushroom and each time it can look different, very different. Apparently this applies to spores as well under certain circumstances.

    When the mushrooms were small, the spores were close enough to white that they looked white. I am not an idiot and I know the difference. I never before have experienced spores changing color based on age/size of the mushroom. Here clearly that was the case which is odd but a very important lesson. There is an article someone wrote about this mushroom where they accidentally ate it because it had a grey or dark spore print, and because the person swore they would never forget what that mushroom looked like they found another C moly many states away with a buffish green spore print, and almost ate it again but remembered their experience.

    So I took a spore print the first time but the color was very different when I went back days later and picked a mature specimen but one that hadn't dropped spores yet. Additionally when you cook any mushroom, you will force it to drop its spores as well which should be an additional indicator (I cook using a well seasoned pan so anything lighter colored will show if you simply start with very low heat). So the very last stage before eating is cooking, pay very close attention to what the mushroom looks like as you cook it (I am in the food business so I have a very fine eye). After this I would highly recommend people cook at least this poisonous mushroom (albeit in a pan you will obviously super clean in a safely isolated environment, etc.) just to see what I saw because it is something that nobody I have since spoken to in any of the Mycological groups seems to have ever done, so they don't have any experience with it. Being able to see that something doesn't look right in the pan may be the last chance to correct a misidentification and for anyone who values knowledge and experience I would say to do it at least once with a mushroom like this where the gills turned aqua marine. My very famous friend's exact words when I sent him the picture of the mushroom in the pan and after we spoke was, "Well I have never cooked a poisonous mushroom before," so I wouldn't know what it looks like.

    Conclusion: Google Chlorophyllum molybdites spore print and see how many different variants there are. It is mind boggling and I am telling you it can and will show white, with absolutely no green, at an early state under certain conditions. Spore print color isn't as bulletproof as books and experts claim since it too can vary widely, the only thing close to bulletproof is using a microscope along with chemical reaction testing as well as visual and taxonomic traits, and even that isn't 100% given how little proper research exists for most mushrooms.

    #2. Chlorophyllum molybdites "blushes" when young, and as it opens if you catch it fresh as I did, it will bruise red as well on the gills. As I went back each day and collected more specimens the bruising was more pronounced with age, as it should be. I still had my buttons and early stages in the fridge and the one thing that was always off about the "blushing" which is why I waited a few days and continued to research and hesitate (as a good shroomer should always do, but humans don't live forever and it doesn't always rain so some of us like to rush it sometimes). What was off concerned the buttons and early stage caps. The stem and gills stained pink and red just as a blusher should. The buttons and early stage I picked the first day blushed a rose (the wine) color. The blushing was slow, very slow on the youngest specimens getting more pronounced as well as a darker or deeper red as they got older/larger. Every video on YouTube I would find was only of European blushers, and given that American ones were said to be their own distinct species, I figured one or two traits missing could be attributed to this. The younger caps when cut didn't blush much if at all. It varied greatly from one mushroom to another even though they had 100% fruited off the same mycelium. The second thing that was off was based on the cap skin. In the videos of the European rubescens, when the skin on the cap was peeled, it would blush or stain red as well. Quickly too. This didn't happen from what I had picked. Ok so I waited a few more days and kept filling the fridge like a greedy goblin. I sacrificed mushrooms for identification purposes, taking pictures along the way. I kept hoping to find a volva on one of the stem bases to warn me instead of the bulbous or thicker base, which kept giving me confidence that if I mis identified the mushroom I would at lease live past it. The thicker/bulbous base is a trait shared with the A. rubescens and many others I am sure. Also everything I read or have read says Chlorophyllum molybdites stains brown, pinking brown, whatever. Bull$hit, the mushrooms picked all stained rose wine color, clearly pink, and I am sure because I kept showing different people to make sure what I was seeing was accurate. It bruised/blushed slowly a pale pinkish red which is the EXACT description given to A. rubescens. I took photos along the way but we all know photos can never capture what a mushroom shows in person.

    Conclusion: Chlorophyllum molybdites blushed or bruises slowly a pale pinkish red in my experience. As I stated earlier the mushrooms were found, and still pop up regularly, next to the soccer field at Bushwick Inlet State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. If anyone cares to dispute this go see for yourself. This along with the changing spore print is a very important lesson because who knows how many other species in America this applies to (remember most described mushrooms are European). Why was this the case, location, conditions, nutrients?

    This experience taught me more than all of my other mushroom experiences combined towards understanding how to go about identifying mushrooms. My goal is to be able to accurately and comfortable identify at least a few hundred species by the end of next year, Jan 1, 2019. I eat what I am sure (enough) of and so far so good. Not being cavalier or unnecessarily bold, I put in the time, effort, and work, so now I eat many many mushrooms I find. As long as it isn't deadly and I am comfortable with the identification, I go for it. I have exclusive access to about 100,000 privately owned acres of land, offer and take mycologists as well as very knowledgeable experts foraging with me. When they aren't available I bring my unknowns to their lectures the next day, or later that week. I get the same unknowns identified by a few different experts to learn better and get a deeper understanding. I will add an update to this article when I have found someone else who has purposely cooked dangerous mushrooms. After this experience I believe it deserves to be in the identification keys but most authors and clubs etc. purposely don't encourage eating, especially for the trickier ones, so due to liability as well as being politically correct I doubt anyone else will agree, but if authors simply write: for the "look alike" to whatever mushroom (A. Rubescens etc.) or for identification of "Chlorophyllum molybdites/false parosol," cook it and watch if the gills turn turquoise, I don't see how anyone who isn't colorblind could make the mistake and ever get poisoned again by Chlorophyllum molybdites.

    It took a while to write this, hopefully not too many typos, going to bed, will update with pictures tomorrow.
     
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