Has anyone been poisoned during this thread? I do fancy mushrooms not from Tescos but just as I was building up to it some celebe family almost died of kidney failure after picking some that looked a bit like field mushrooms on their hols in Scotland...
I'm in rude good health and not about to take a risk with that just to go foraging when I can afford to go to Lidl who will soon be offering locally foraged stuff soon? I wouldn't put it past them. A breath of fresh air in the stale world of food marketing
The thing to be aware of is that there is very little in the way of rules of thumb or generalisations when it comes to what's good and what's poisonous. You really have to identify each species before you know whether it is good to eat or not. Some of the families/genera that have species that are good to eat also have some of the ones that can be deadly poisonous.
However, there are only a handful of truly deadly poisonous ones... a few in the Amanita, a few in the Clitocybe, plus odd ones in other genera, such as Cortinarius (think that was what did for that family on holiday). If you buy a field guide and familiarise yourself with the bad boys, you can then learn to use the dichotomy key to start making a positive identification on the good ones. You need to pick them and bring them home to get to grips with using the key though.
There are a few that you really can't mistake for anything else, like giant puff balls, shaggy ink caps, oyster mushrooms and ceps. If you pick them to start with while you learn to trust your abilities... then you can move on to the likes of field mushrooms and others in the Agaricus genus, plus the likes of parasol mushroom, shaggy parasol, blewits and wood blewits, chanterelle, and others, all of which are quite easy to identify.
The cep is a member of the genus Boletus and it's a useful family for pickers, inasmuch as it is a typical mushroom shape, but doesn't have gills. It has spore tubes instead, so it's dead easy to get the genus right... and there are no dangerously poisonous members - just one to avoid and it is easily separated out. Same for the genus Agaricus really - all members of the genus are good to eat, or at least OK, apart from the yellow staining mushroom... which gives itself away by... er, staining yellow when picked. Mature specimens of Agaricus have those characteristic chocolate brown gills and a ring on their stalk, same as the common cultivated mushrooms.
The Amanitas have more bad boys than any genus... death cap, detroying angel, panther cap... and others. Many in the genus are identifiable by the egg-shell like case they emerge from, often leaving the fragments stuck to the cap after - like the classic red toadstool, the fly agaric. Most have a ring, though some don't. I think (not certain) they all have white gills though, and it is quite easy to identify the genus. Although some are good to eat, such as the tawny grisette, I never take the risk. "If it's Amanita, leave it!" is a good rule of thumb.
I heard (just recently too) that death cap and destroying angel are both so toxic that you shouldn't even handle them with bare hands! Not sure if I ever did, but if so, I lived to tell the tale.
After a 5 year absence (due to the OP asking for the entire thread to be deleted when he closed his account!), the switch to the new software has accidentally reinstated this thread. Quite right too - it should never have been deleted, as lots of us had posts in it.
Here is one from the cycle path today...
The new software reduces the zoom of images larger than a set size. Mine are 1500 x 1000 pixels, which is larger than the new default, but if you click on the image, you will see it at full size.
re the mention of the Cortinarius , I read a bit after the Morayshire Cortinarius poisoning a few years back That women are Immune to the poisons , it will affect the Kidneys of the Males, the Guys that ate them spent some time in Hospital recovering after Treatment, beware the Mushroom soup, easker1