Saturday, November 15, 2008

Parasol mushrooms

Today I spotted several parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera) on the verge of the lane to the village.  They often appear here and have formed quite a large colony over the years.  Mid-November seems very much later that usual though.

20081115 KWR & Parasol mushrooms 007

I brought three youngish ones home and we had some excellent parasol fritters.  If fried, or used in other recipes for mushrooms, parasols tend to grow rather soft and watery, so fritters is a good way of using them - a crisp, slightly spicy outside with a soft, fungus-fragrant interior.  The sort of food that is almost impossible for a restaurant due to the fragility of the parasols and the irregularity of their appearance.

I just remove the stalk and cup the cap into eight wedges.  These are then dredged with plain flour, dipped in batter and deep fried in fat somewhat less hot fat than for potato chips.  In the picture of the fritters below, I am amused by the little mushroom-like protuberances made by batter trying to escape.

20081115 KWR & Parasol mushrooms 009

Some care has to be taken over consuming parasol mushrooms as they have several decidedly poisonous lookalikes, though this is more of a problem in mainland Europe and North America than in the UK.  Also some people may have an allergic reaction, so try a very small amount first if you are tempted.

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