olidhealth.com – At the time when you go to the conical forest, you would find fungi or mushrooms. It usually grows on fallen trees or moist ground. Several mushrooms can be consumed as a daily diet. The edible mushroom has good benefits for health. In fact, there are mushrooms that are inedible. So, we should be selective to pick edible mushrooms.
The mushrooms that you can find in the market are produced domestically since It is used to meet the demands for daily consumption in various cuisines. However, there are unique mushrooms which edible and rarely known about them. We should know distinctive features in this rare mushroom. It is lesser-known to this unique mushroom but has numbers benefit to your health even may help to cure cancer in several cases.
Still, if you want to eat this unique edible mushroom, you should know how to tell apart which ones are edible and the poisonous ones.
How To Distinguish Edible Mushroom
The edible mushroom usually has special characteristics to tell the difference from the poisonous one . Before that, you must know the part of the mushroom. Below are parts of mushroom which can be distinctive features such as:
- Cap – Fruit body that is mostly edible and has many shapes like circular, tube-like, honeycomb-like, etc.
- Gills – Located under its cap, it can be a spike-like shape.
- Stem – Tube-like shape to support fruit body. It can be long or short.
- Odor – Special aroma which can be distinctive features, like sweet or pleasant aroma.
- Color – Light white to a darker color
- And many more.
Before taking the journey to find these mushrooms, you should know how to tell apart from a poisonous one. Amateur mushroom hunters usually can’t tell an apart between them due to lack of experience. Don’t hunt these mushrooms alone and get together with the professionals to get more information about their distinctive features.
The Benefit of Edible Mushroom
Many studies and research have shown the benefit of these unique edible mushrooms, especially in their cell wall. Most mushrooms have substances known as beta-glucan used for boosting the immune system again viral, fungal, and bacterial infection . It can also be antioxidant properties or even anti-cancer. Keep in mind, the benefit of these mushrooms is still being investigated. Further research and finding of new variants or existing fungi keep increasing along with its benefit to improve world health standards.
In this article, there are several species that we carefully classify for consumption. Before consuming, we recommend processing it first to detoxify the fungus. If you want to consume it on your own, pay attention to the risk of each of the mushrooms in this article. Or if you are hesitant to read this article, you could take experts for more trusted information.
There are 7 variants of unique edible mushrooms that are beneficial for your health.
Truffles are one of the luxury mushrooms which has a high cost to find it. You should have special skills and tools to find these mushrooms in the wild forest. Unlike other fungi that visibly grow above the ground, most truffles grow underground but not too deep. It can be found on the bark of hazel and oak tree. Trained dogs used to search and distinguish it from “false truffles”. Truffles have a roughly round shape with a tube-like appearance and have a strong odor. The fruit body is mostly edible and each truffle came in white or black color depending on its nature.
Popular truffles that commonly found in European cuisines such as smooth black truffle and white truffle. They have an intense garlic-like aroma to combine with other dishes. Summer truffles, winter truffles, and Chinese black truffles are other popular variants of truffles that have been used as additional on cuisines and dishes.
Truffles have health benefits to maintain your body stay healthy. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties like lycopene, vitamin C, and gallic acid. It is also high in nutrients, and fiber such as minerals and vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium . Truffles can be used to treat heart-related diseases and maintain blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that truffles may have antibacterial and anticancer substances like beta-glucan and polysaccharides.
Matsutake or Tricholoma matsutake is an edible gilled mushroom which mostly native to subtropical climates. It can be found in East Asia and spread thoroughly part of Europe and North America. Tricholoma magnivelare and Tricholoma murrillianum are American matsutake that harvests to being supplied to Asia. Japan has a high demand for matsutake as it is a popular and premium mushroom in Japanese cuisine. Matsutake is most luxurious besides truffle and another expensive ingredient. It has the appearance of a white to dark brown gilled cap and it has a strong aroma.
Matsutake has many benefits besides it can be used as food. It has rich nutrients such as vitamin B3, vitamin D, minerals like potassium and copper. In medicinal uses, It has an antioxidant agent like in fruit and vegetables to protect the cell and remove free-radical scavengers. Studies suggest that Matsutake may have antibacterial, anti-tumor, and anticancer properties. The polysaccharide compounds present in matsutake are used to boost the immune system. It can treat people with obesity because it can reduce the production of fat.
Pleurotus ostreatus is known as hiratake in japan or oyster mushroom are gilled mushroom which has been distinguished by their white caps. Sometimes it grows at bark trees and rotten wood. Oyster mushroom has been cultivated and spread across the world. However, wild types of oyster mushrooms still can be found in nature. Most of them are edible and usually present in cuisine as vegetables. There are Pleurotus fungi that can be consumed such as:
- King oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) – Distinguished by its thick stem and light brown color.
- Veiled oyster mushroom (Pleurotus dryinus) – Commonly grow in the bark of an oak tree.
- Pink oyster mushroom (Pleurotus djamor) – Distinguished by a pink cap.
- Golden oyster mushroom (Pleurotus citrinopileatus) – Distinguished by yellow gills cap.
- Phoenix oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius) – Distinguished by growing in clusters.
Oyster mushrooms have high nutrients and most of them have the same active compound like polysaccharides which have many benefit for health. It has the potential to treat cancer, fight off bacteria as antimicrobial, reduce cholesterol levels, and maintain blood pressure. It also has antioxidant properties to improve the immune system.
Morchella esculenta or known as morel mushroom is a sag type of mushroom. It is also called true morel, yellow morel, or sponge morel because of its unique shape. Some variant of morel mushroom looks like honeycomb structures in its cap. Other distinctive features such as having a hollow inside of its cap and having a short stem.
Beware of Verpa or Gyromitra species which have an edible morel-like appearance. These “false morel” have poisonous substances like monomethyl hydrazine and gyromitrin which can cause stomach upset, vomiting, muscle weakness, or even death.
Morel mushroom is native in northern climate nations such as Turkey, China especially in the Himalayas, and North America. Most people make a fortune to find this mushroom because of its high price. It is difficult to cultivate this mushroom, so it is rare to see it in the market and become one of the luxurious mushrooms. Another variant such as Morchella conica or black morel has been legacy in french cuisine.
Besides having high prices, It also has benefits for health. Morel mushrooms are one of the highest vitamin D among all variant mushrooms. It may have natural compounds that have benefits for eyes health. It also has other nutrients like:
- Vitamin such as thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin E.
- Minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Furthermore, Morel mushrooms also have polysaccharide compounds like beta-glucan used to improve the immune system. Beta-glucan is known to have anti-inflammation and anti-cancer properties.
For consumption purposes, we suggest to cooked first. Consuming raw morel is not exactly safe and can cause stomach upset.
Saffron Milkcap Mushroom
Lactarius deliciosus or saffron milkcap mushrooms are the best known large milkcap mushrooms species. The other name is red pine mushroom. These mushrooms are edible and native in Europe, especially close to the Mediterranean basin such as France, Portugal, Spain, etc. It basically grows under Mediterranean pines or other pinus species.
Somehow, it has been accidentally introduced to other countries which have subarctic climates and highland pine plantations such as North America, Australia, Chile, and New Zealand. Saffron milkcap mushrooms are commercially harvested in these countries at great prices because of their rarity in nature and luxurious ingredients for many countries.
Saffron milkcap mushrooms have distinctive features like orange to red color with circle trace on top of the cap. The cap is usually dry but it can be sticky and viscid when wet. While harvesting these mushrooms, they exude milk-like latex from its cut flesh. another variant of these mushrooms is Lactarius rubrilacteus or known as The bleeding milkcap which have slightly different in color.
Some of Lactarius species are considered inedible like Lactarius alnicola or golden milkcap because of their intense pepper-like taste. Also, you should avoid poisonous Red-Hot Milkcap and Wooly milkcap because they can cause stomach upset and irritate to the digestive system
Saffron milkcap mushrooms are unique edible mushrooms that have benefits for your health. It has high nutrients such as beta-carotene, amino acid, vitamin (B1, B2, B12, E, etc), and mineral (iron, manganese, zinc, and copper). Copper and zinc are present in cellular metabolism and can be required for blood cell production. Some studies suggest that saffron milkcap mushrooms may have polysaccharide compounds that have effect anti-cancer properties. It also has a phenolic compound as an antioxidant agent to protect cells again oxidative substances. In traditional medicine, it can reduce symptoms of asthma and liver-related disease such as jaundice.
Saffron milkcap mushrooms are somewhat safe to be eaten raw and they can be processed such as boiling and grilling. We recommended cooking in low heat to prevent its active compound from being damaged.
Hydnum repandum, commonly known as hedgehog mushroom or sweet tooth is a unique edible mushroom that is native in northern climates like Europe and Canada. In the United Kingdom, it is commonly known as tooth fungi. Its usually found in conifer, birch, or beech trees in a single or clusters.
It has characteristics like having a dry cap, irregular cap shape, short thick stem, and spike-like gills under its cap. The cap color of hedgehog mushrooms is yellow to light orange to brown. There are other Hydnum species such as Hydnum albidum (the white hedgehog mushrooms) and Hydnum albomagnum (the giant hedgehog mushrooms).
In culinary, hedgehog mushrooms have sweet and crunchy flavor and they can be a meat alternative because of their content. It has high fatty acids, especially linoleic acid which has benefits to lower the risk of heart disease. It also has high carbohydrates and minerals, especially copper and manganese. Studies suggest that hedgehog mushrooms have active compounds to fight off tumor disease. It also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties like vitamin C and myricetin compounds.
It’s considered safe to eat if being processed first to break down its hard cell wall. Consuming raw hedgehog mushrooms can cause stomach upset. Hedgehog mushroom is classified as vulnerable mushrooms due to overharvesting in nature in several countries.
Grifola frondosa is commonly known as maitake in Japan. These clusters of mushroom are one of the unique edible mushrooms which has benefits for health. In east Asia, especially in China and Japan, it’s one of the delicacy ingredients for Asian cuisine. Its native in China, North America, and Europe is known as hen-of-the-wood mushroom.
The fruiting body is edible and mostly has a large size. It has distinctive features like growing in clusters, having a fan-like shape, and The cap color grey to brownish. Maitake is a polyphore mushroom or bracket mushroom which grows on side of the conical tree. It usually does not change the place to grow but is difficult to cultivate.
Maitake considers a medicinal mushroom and has many benefits for a healthy body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, It has benefits for stomach and spleen health. It also can improve the nervous system. Maitake has rich in nutrients such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, potassium, copper, amino acid, and fiber.
Furthermore, Maitake has a beta-glucan compound for reducing bad cholesterol and improving heart health. Polysaccharides in maitake mushrooms may have benefits as anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties to improve the immune system. Other benefits maitake may have reduced blood sugar level and High blood pressure.
There are several unique mushrooms that we can find in forests. Most of them are edible and we can distinguish apart from the poisonous mushroom. This beautiful mushroom also has many benefits depending on how to process in daily cuisine or dish. Some variants can be used as medicinal or supplements for maintaining your health. Consuming this mushroom must be considered for the risks that can occur in the future.
 https://www.scitechnol.com/peer-review/edible-and-nonedible-wild-mushrooms-nutrition-toxicity-and-strategies-for-recognition-dY0s.php?article_id=7395 – how to tell mushroom part and toxicity
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8308413/ – Beta-glucan in mushroom
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854548/ – Truffle mushroom in general