Scottish late autumn & winter mushrooms:
Some of the best foraging in the world can be found in Scotlands woods, pastures, and forestry plantations:
Lets take a look at my favourite late fruiting edibles:
Many of these would cost over £30 a kilo in the shops.
Starting with the Oysters: a few yards from my home.
A great winter find: Jan 1st in fact!
Then close up…. very very tasty, and one of the easiest to ID
Next, another splendid edible:
Wood Blewit: one of the tastiest winter mushrooms of all: and that lovely violet colour in the young ‘shrooms is perfect. The spore print is white/cream, Don’t mistake these for the similar looking Cortinarius (webcaps) which have a brown spore streak down the stem: they are poisonous!
Next, another winter favourite: the Velvet shank: Flammulina velutipes - usually found on winter tree stumps like this: these are a highly desired edible especially in the Far East, where they are often cultivated. In Japan this is known as the Enokitake where due to dark growing conditions is a small, thin but long, white mushroom with a small cap. Top can be a little slimy after rain, but don’t let this fool you, the flesh is firm and meaty.
From November the delicious snowy waxcap is well worth looking for in rough sheep pastures, sometimes in very large quantities: they are small and take some collecting, but are well worth the effort:
Our final late autumn/early winter mushroom to seek out is the beautiful trooping funnel: found in rings: very large, creamy white and with that very distinctive cocktail glass shape, it pickles well and is also a good subsitute for giant oyster in any mushroom dish.