Top 20 edible fungi

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Thu Sep 20 01:34:21 EST 2001

"Colin A. B. Davidson" <cabd2 at> wrote in message news:<9n4s0d$ps$1 at>...
> "Heine J. Deelstra" <heine at> wrote in message
> news:3B95CB1E.F76A07CA at
> > Well it's seems that many mushroom eaters are either looking for a (risky)
> > trip or have a death wish; A. muscaria and Gyromitra esculenta usually not
> > considered edible. Psylocibe sp. will induce hallucinations.
> A. muscaria isn't something I'd advise eating, but there are many, many
> examples of people ingesting this fungus throughout history for its potent
> hallucinogenic effects.
David Aurora, speaking to the Oregon Mycological Society many years
ago, noted that world-wide, there are more Amanita species eaten than
Agaricus species. While I am happy to note this does not occur in the
US, it also should be a clear reference that many Amanitas are, in
fact, quite edible.

I personally have not tried any A. species. However, I'm not sure I
would pass up an opportunity for true A. caesaria if it available

Certainly G. esculenta is poisonous. But I was merely reporting one of
the favorite fungi of Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming's
readers. I'm pretty sure that G. esculenta is favored by Lawrence
Stickney, who has far more experience in eating fungi (and probably
other esculents as well) than I. I even ate it at one time. But
rarely, and _never_ two meals containing it in succession. OTOH, G.
gigas is still rather good for a meal or so each year.

Regarding Psilocybe species, the ones mentioned in the first posting
were favorites of Paul Stamets. I suspect he is more an authority on
Psilocybe than many anywhere. And no, not all Psilocybe contain
halucinogenic properties. To my knowledge, only those which stain blue
have that reaction, although I'm sure chemical analysis will show some
toxins. If tests for other toxins were as sensitive to psilocybin as
say muscarine, a _lot_ of currently consumed mushrooms on the market
would likely be pulled.

In other words, relatively few Psilocybe sps. will cause
hallucinogenics. Amanitas are probably just as likely. (I'm not sure
anyone wants to comment about Inocybe, Conocybe, or Cortinarius
species.) To presume all Psilocybe are hallucinogenic is as bad as
either calling all fungi "food of the Gods" or "Devil's food."

Daniel B. Wheeler

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