Saturday, October 10, 2015

Puff, the magic fungus

Know what this is? Hint: Once in a while when I'm taking a fall walk in the woods, I come across one of them.

I leave them alone, but some of them edible.

Gertrude Park's Going Wild in the Kitchen (1965) has a few ideas for this little guy, though:

It's a puffball! They are a type of mushroom and apparently, they taste like it since the recommended recipes would work for more common mushrooms-- saute in butter, cook in cream, or add raw to a salad.

This is one odd delicacy that I have actually consumed, though I barely remember it since I was maybe five or six at the time. Someone found a puffball in my grandparents' woods and they decided to cook it. 

I really wonder if I'm misremembering the details, though, because the way I think my grandma cooked it would totally NOT make sense for a mushroom. I think she sliced it up, dipped the pieces in flour, sauteed them, and then served them with maple syrup since the the flat, round slices resembled pancakes.

I love mushrooms, and I loved the maple syrup grandpa cooked down every spring from their own maple trees, but I can't really imagine mushrooms and maple as the best of friends.

That little memory, probably at least a bit faulty, pops up along with the puffballs this time of year. I'm glad to see it, even if it is more than a little confusing. Have a memorable fall weekend!


  1. I always thought that puffballs were poisonous. After reading this post, I'm going to keep believing that

    1. You go right ahead! It's probably safer to assume that.

  2. They sell these at the grocery store here in Southern Pennsylvania.

    1. Really? Wow! I had no idea they were commercially available. Maybe the rise of local food has made them more popular?