Gyromitra poison info?

Michael Krikorev m.krikorev at
Wed Jun 4 07:08:58 EST 1997

Hi Jeff, 
I dont know if I can help you, but I would like to try, first of all my
english is terrible, and second: I am not sure that I know wich species you
are talking about. 
Here in Europe we usually mean the mushroom Fistulina hepatica when we say
the beefsteak mushroom or the beefsteak fungus, it grows on very old
Oak-trees here, it is edible but not very tasty (belive me I have tried it
!). My knowledge in American names of mushrooms is below zero, but I
noticed that you mentioned Gyromitra poison, so I assume that you might
have been talking about Gyromitra esculenta wich is a very poisonus
mushroom, but still we eat them here in Scandinavia! 
In 1994 it became illegal to sell fresh or dried Gyromitra esculenta here
in Sweden (except for selling them to restaurants!), you can buy them in
canned form (parboiled of course) in almost any foodstore but it is not
cheap! The toxin Gyromitrin may cause considerable damage to the liver if
you are not cautious, you have to boil the mushrooms in fresh water for
about ten minutes, then mostly of the toxin has disappeared out in the
water (but not all), rince them and cook them, rather tasty actually, but I
dont eat them more often than two or three times a year. 
Gyromitra esculenta have a look-alike sister here in Sweden: 
Discina gigas, is not as common as G.esculenta, and they are very hard to
tell from eachother. You have to use a microscope to be on the safe side.
Discina gigas does not contain the toxin wich is found in G.esculenta, but
it is also rather tasteless (according to my mushrooming friends, I have
not tasted it myself).
I hope this have been any help to you.

Michael Krikorev 

Jeff Potter <jp at> skrev i inlägg
<33932B10.6F45 at>...
> Hi there...I'm interested in the rocket fuel toxin in the 
> Beefsteak mushroom. I've read that it's considered poisonous
> but that millions eat it. Very strange! Can someone enlighten
> me? ---I recall also reading that different regions have beefsteaks
> which have LESS of the toxin, making them edible. Is this the
> case with the commercial beefsteaks available in Scandanavia?
> I also read awhile back about a 'controlled substance' case about
> such a company exporting beefsteaks to the US and getting into
> trouble. Any news? Thanks...
> -- 
> JP
> *****
> Jeff Potter
> jp at reply delete 'SPAMBLOCK' from address!
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