Wild Edible Of The Week - Week 13 - "St. George's Mushroom"

Botanical name : Tricholoma gambosum now Calocybe gambosa

Common names : St. George's Mushroom, mousseron

Physical appearance : The cap is between 5 and 12cm wide, fleshy and  creamy white in colour, with wavy edges. The flesh has a mealy, cucumber like smell. Can grow in a fairy ring configuration.

Edible parts : The fungus is edible in its entirety, although removing tougher stalks is recommended.

Best places to find : Most readily found in grass and open pastures, roadside verges, lawns and woodland verges. Favours limestone substrate.

Time of year : Best gathered in April - November although warmer climates can see this mushroom growing all year around. Pick during drier periods as this mushroom can adsorb a lot of rain water. A soggy mushroom is not as tasty and is more prone to decomposition and pest infestation.

Serving suggestions : Very tasty when simply fried in butter and served with some nice buttered bread. Also very nice when added to stews and casseroles.

Other uses : ?

Don't confuse it with Inocybe erubescens, which grows in the same habitats but has a much more pungent fruity smell and turns red when bruised. Entoloma sinuatum, which is also similar in appearance, has a very rancid smell, also highly poisonous.

NB - Please be sure you know what you are picking. Many plants look similar to one another and many can be poisonous! This is even more the case when dealing with mushrooms. Please seek professional instruction if you are unsure! Don't risk your life!!!

Photo courtesy of Lukas via licence under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.