September 26, 2010

The Giant Puffball

Calvatia gigantea is what I found the other day. A friend told me they had seen a puffball mushroom behind one of the buildings on the COA campus. I soon went to check it out, finding a very large and conspicuous organism.
Unfortunately.... upon cutting it open, most was yellowing and soggy with a repulsive odor. I saved what I could of the mushroom--perhaps more than I should have, but it was impossible not to feel pity for the pieces of yellowing marshmallow-like substance. To save my guilt, I deposited the semi edible pieces in my refrigerator for a future day I could devote to the delicacy.

Yesterday I found another one--smaller, but also much whiter, dry, and without the smell. This morning I knew what had to be done.  First I peeled away the tough outer layer of the puffball since I heard it is very hard to digest. A friend from school recommended that I dip the slices of puffball into egg, then flour, and then fry them as one would do in the case of traditional grilled cheese.

Indeed it was a great success. Very delicious. I'm glad I was finally able to try this mushroom.

I still have to think about the unfortunate pieces of the first puffball that are still in the door of my refrigerator... I have a feeling they will end up aiding the compost.

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