To Amuse and Delight

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Foraging the Giant Puffball

It's a good time for foraging here in NY. We have been getting lots of goodies. Just last week we scored a haul of Chicken of the Woods and Puffball mushrooms as well as white oak acorns and plantain (not the banana!). I needed to get more plantain before the frost to make my healing salves. My husband was after those acorns, he is going to make acorn flour out of them. If I don't eat them all first as a snack!

This is a lovely white Puffball Mushroom. I set those two brown ones in the background to show you what not to eat. A Puffball is good when it's all white, feels firm and a bit spongy. When they are brown they are past eating and have moved on to their spore making phase. They are quite large and easy to spot. I grabbed two this size, but left a larger one for the next human or animal forager.

You can see how easy the dirty outside peels right off. You should not eat this mushroom raw. In fact it's best to not eat any raw mushrooms.

I treated the first Puff like tofu, sauteed and seasoned with cajun spices. That's my default way of cooking and it's always tasty. But since I had so much of this mushroom I decided to experiment.

 This idea came to me while I was slicing it up. The slices really held their shape, which made me think of eggplant. Puffball parmigiana was born! 

Here you can see what the inside looks like, the texture was very good this way. There is no poison lookalike for this mushroom, so feel free to forage up some yourselves.


  1. What a great idea to use it like eggplant! It made my mouth water! We love hunting puffballs and chicken mushrooms, especially because they don't have lookalikes. However, I recently read that breathing in the spores once they are a bit past their prime can be extremely dangerous. Just an FYI in case you didn't know - although since you are the mushroom queen, I suspect you did. :-)

    1. Hi Gypsy- I am eating chicken shrooms right now for breakfast, love it. Yes, the spores can be a bother breathing it in. But we still love to jump on them to see the clouds fly out!