Reply To: Beginner Mushroom Foraging

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Welcome to the wonderful world of foraging! Seems like you’ve found some great perspective edibles so far!

I believe the most important is to get a good field guide. I’m a resident of upstate NY and like Baroni’s Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, but there are many different guides out there with great descriptions. I also lean on Reddit a lot for second opinions on IDs I’m not sure about (r/foraging and r/Mycology are great!). When you’re asking for advice on the internet, proceed with caution. Many community members know what they’re doing, but in the mushroom world, there are so many look-alikes! Taking detailed photos of the cap, gills/pores, and stem are helpful ways to ID a mushroom (or help someone else ID it for you). Doing a spore print is also a great way to deduce what kind it could be.

Another important thing to recognize is that some wild mushrooms might be classified as edible, but every person is different, so taste a small amount of an edible mushroom and wait several hours to see if your body reacts to it before diving in.

From my experience, Chicken of the Woods has very few look-alikes, so that might be a great introduction for you! Plus, it’s very tasty and really does taste like chicken. Pay attention to what tree it’s growing on though – it’s been known to cause an upset stomach if the fruiting body was growing on conifers.

Best of luck, and happy foraging!