Saturday, November 7, 2009
Bearded Tooth - (Hericium erinaceus)
Description: With its clumps of hanging white "fur," this tooth fungus looks much like a polar bear's paw. It is pure white when fresh and young, but yellows with age.
The bearded tooth may grow quite large, as much as a foot across. Its size and whiteness make it easy to spot against the dark logs on which it grows.
Other names include bear's head, satyr's beard and hedgehog mushroom. Size 4" to 12" across.
When and Where: Summer and fall; always on trees, logs or stumps.
Cautions: The bearded tooth is distinctive and has no poisonous look-alikes. There are several closely related species which are more open and branched, but all are good edibles.
Only young, white specimens should be eaten; older, yellowed ones are sour.
Cooking Hints: Slice, parboil until tender (taste a piece to test), drain and serve with cheese sauce.