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Oyster mushroom is a rare conditionally edible mushroom of the Oyster mushroom family. In several regions of Russia it is included in the Red Book.
Where oyster mushroom grows
Despite its name, it settles not only on the remains of oak trees, but also on the dead wood of other deciduous trees, for example, elms. Mushrooms are found in mixed and deciduous forests of the temperate zone of the European continent. Grows singly or in intergrowths, often multi-tiered, can completely cover a dead tree.
Description and photo of oak oyster mushroom is presented below.
What does oyster mushroom look like?
The cap has a shell-shaped or fan-shaped, convex or concave-prostrate shape. In diameter it reaches 5-10 cm, sometimes 15 cm. The edge curls inward. The surface is smooth, with compressed scales, whitish, cream, gray or brownish shades. The pulp is light, elastic, thick, has a pleasant smell of mushrooms.
This mushroom grows singly or grows together by roots in small bundles
The plates are rather wide, frequent, branched, descending. Their edge is even, wavy or finely toothed. The color is lighter than that of the cap, acquires a yellowish tint with age. Covered with white or light gray bloom. Spore white powder.
The height of the leg is from 3 to 5 cm, the thickness is from 1 to 3 cm. It is eccentric, short, tapering towards the base. The color is like that of the cap, sometimes a little lighter. The pulp is yellowish, closer to the root, tough and fibrous.
A young oak oyster mushroom has a blanket on the plates. It quickly breaks and turns into white and brownish patches on the cap and a torn flaky ring on the stem.
Is it possible to eat oyster mushroom
Considered conditionally edible. In some foreign sources, it is described as an inedible species, in others - as a mushroom with good taste.
Oyster mushroom, or ordinary. This species has a similar fruiting body shape, size and color. Its main difference is the absence of a blanket on the records. Stem short, eccentric, lateral, curved, often invisible, hairy at the base, very stiff in older specimens. It belongs to edible, grown on an industrial scale, the most cultivated species among oyster mushrooms. Unpretentious, adapts well to adverse conditions. Active growth is observed in September-October, it can start bearing fruit even in May. High productivity is ensured by the fact that the fruit bodies grow together, forming the so-called nests.
Oyster mushroom, grown in artificial conditions, can be bought in any supermarket
Oyster mushroom pulmonary (whitish, beech, spring). The color of this mushroom is lighter, almost white. Another important sign is the absence of a filmy bedspread. The leg is lateral, less often central, hairy at the base, off-white. Treats edible. It grows from May to September on decaying wood, less often on living, but weak trees. Under good conditions, it grows into bundles with bases. It is not common.
Oyster mushroom is white
Collection rules and use
You can harvest oyster mushrooms from July to September.
It is quite rare, there is little information on taste. It is believed that this one is not inferior in taste to its widespread relative - the oyster (ordinary). You can fry, stew, dry, make soups and sauces. As a rule, only hats are eaten, since the legs have a fibrous structure and are stiff.
Boil in salted water for 20 minutes before cooking. It is not recommended to salt or pickle for long-term storage as canned food.
Oyster mushroom is a rare conditionally edible mushroom. Its main difference from other related species is the presence of a veil on the spore-bearing layer, which breaks apart in adult specimens and presents itself as flake-like remains.