These beauties were introduced to me several years ago and I've been hooked ever since! Shaggy Mane Mushrooms are plentiful in the Autumn, about October but also in early Spring. They are fickle. They don't grow just anywhere but when you find one, you can find ten.
But how do I do it? What to look for? How good are they, really?
You will find these guys in grassy areas, they love decomposing wood. I've found them mainly under pine trees for some reason, not cedars. I've found them all the way from Whistler/Pemberton, to Squamish, the North Shore and all the way up my favourite Indian Arm as well.
They are quite tall. You will see them easily since the tallest of the bunch will sprout out past the underbrush ground cover and be a tall, gleaming white. Their mushroom cap is long and cylindrical, ending in the bottom fringe having a darker brown, sometimes black edge. You will want to leave them alone if they have gone significantly black at the lowest edge. This is an older shaggy mane and it will turn your dish black, and be bitter if you cook it.
Finding the gleaming white shaggy mane with a nice white colour from it's top to it's mushroom cap edge, is the best one to pick. Don't pull them straight out of the ground. If you do this, you won't have a shaggy mane in that same spot next season. Instead, cut the mushroom off, leaving the base in the forest floor. This will ensure your return next season will be worth it.
They have a great taste, especially when pan fried in butter with some salt and pepper. You wouldn't want to eat these raw. I always find these guys around Thanksgiving, and they always make my stuffing just that much better.
Officially, here's a great resource link on Shaggy Mane's: Shaggy Mane Mushrooms. Of course, it's also important to say, don't go picking Shaggy Manes without someone who knows how to identify them first. It's not that they have poisonous look-alikes out there, but to be on the safe side - find a mushroom buddy and double the fun.
HI, I'M KATE
A Captain's daughter, who became a Captain's wife. I remain always, a mermaid out of water looking to get straight back to the sea, whenever possible.