Mushroom Hunting in the Hudson Valley: Edible vs. Poisonous Mushrooms

We tell you how to identify the good mushrooms from the bad. Of course, when in doubt, throw it out!

Many edible mushrooms have look-alikes that are actually poisonous — so be extra careful to examine anything you collect. In our region, one of the best examples of this is the chanterelle — a delicious find used in many sauces and soups — and its doppelgänger, the poisonous jack-o’-lantern. They look very similar, so how do you know which one you are looking at? Unlike chanterelles, the jack-o’-lantern has true, sharp, non-forking gills. Furthermore, if the jack-o’-lantern’s stem is peeled, the inside is orange, while the chanterelle’s inner hue is a paler white. While not lethal, consuming the jack-o’-lantern can lead to severe cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

See the gallery below for more good vs. bad mushrooms.

Related stories:
» Why mushroom hunting is the next big thing
» Mushroom recipe: Cooking with chanterelle mushrooms
» Foraging essentials: What you need before you go mushroom hunting
» Meet Wildman Steve Brill and the mushroom people (mycologists)
» Return to main story: Hunting for Mushrooms 

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