Botanical Name : Pleurotus ostreatus
Common names : Oyster mushroom,Tree oyster mushroom, Grey oyster mushroom.
Physical appearance : The oyster mushrrom is a fan shaped, bracket fungus commonly found on dead or dying Beech or Ash wood. It grows in "shelves" up to 8 (can be betwen 5 and 25cm) inches in diameter. It has an initially convex cap wich flattens out as it matures. The cap is grey or slate blue in colour.
The gills are run deep and whittish in colour. The flesh is white, soft and rubbery and some would say has a consistency and flavour similar to an oyster.
Best places to find : Common throughout British woodlands. Most commonly found on Ash trees but can also be found on Beech.
Edible parts : Edible in its entirety.
Time of year : Can be found throughout the year but more abundant in the autumn and winter.
Recipe : It has a very mild flavour with some notes of anise. Ideal addition to soups and stews. Best added near the end of meal preparation, to avoid chewiness.
Alternative recipe: Deep fried in beaten egg, flour and breadcrumbs.
NB! - Please be sure you know what you are picking, many plants look similar to each other and may be poisonous. If you are unsure, please seek professional instruction! This is especially the case with funghi!
The Bushgear Team
Photos courtesy of Festive Foraging and Archenzo
Photo courtesy of Jean-Pol Grandmont, Rosser 1954,
Via Wiki Creative Commons Attribution