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Aug 8, 2011 08:13 AM

Unreasonable fear of Shitakes I bought

I bought a $7 bag of Shitakes at the farmer's market. The lady said they were grown "right here in Polk county" and I worried for a moment that they were foraged. Asked her if she grew them and she said yes, on a log.

But now, I have this creepy feeling. They don't look like the shitakes I buy in the store. They DO have the curled foot, but the cap is perfectly smooth and round like a button mushroom, it doesn't have that wavy effect that ends in a slender edge.

The lady I bought them from seemed kinda "out there" and so I've just about convinced myself to close my eyes and pitch these. My husband had emergency surgery for a common bile duct blockage last week, and was in the early stages of liver failure for a I have a particular desire not to poison him right now.

What would you do? $7 is no big deal to pitch for peace of mind. But they do look extremely pretty and fresh...assuming they aren't poisonous ;-)

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  1. Is there anyone you can take them to for inspection? Local botanist? University science department? If you can't know 100% they're safe, then yes, I'd pitch them. Even if they don't kill you, they could send you a trip somewhere you don't want to go. And with a family member recovering from surgery, you want all his food to be as risk-free as possible. Even though I'm sure there are people here who are experts on this subject, I would not rely on people who cannot physically examine your mushrooms to tell you whether they're safe to eat.

    Another option is to save one until you can get it inspected by an expert, and then if they're safe, buy more. If not, report the seller to protect others. She may not have bad intentions, but ignorance can be just as dangerous.

    1. You could read the Wiki article
      and look at the Google images.

      Not all have the 'flower like' cracking on the cap. I am puzzled about your 'slender edge'.

      Your mushrooms might be younger than the ones you typically buy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        thanks. scroll down to the second pic on the page (if you don't mind). See how the sliced mushrooms in the bowl have that shape that's different from a mushroom w/ more of a rounded cap? That's what confuses me....mine aren't that shape.

        However, they do look like the 1st pic. I imagine there are different varieties, but a cursory googling didn't give me anything specific.

      2. They sound like they were picked as they began to expand, before flattening out. I've grown my own shiitakes, and many came out that way. However, for your peace of mind, go by the motto "when in doubt, throw it out".

        1. Shitakes are not a wild mushroom, so they can't have been foraged. Unless the vendor was "out there" in a seriously maniacal way, I think your mushrooms are fine. Even within one species of mushroom there's always a lot of variation, depending on what staged they were picked and how long ago. Relax - they're not poisonous.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nyleve

            I believe the worry was that they're not Shitakes. Shitakes are a wild mushroom, but not here.

          2. Well, they sound normal to me, but if you don't want to throw them out unnecessarily and don't want to poison your husband, why not make a small portion for yourself and wait to see if there are any ill effects?

            Also, if she had poisoned people you might have heard about it by now. (That's not meant to be snarkā€”I'm sorry, I had a lot of trouble constructing that sentence.)

            But yes, if you're truly nervous, throw them away and use store-bought mushrooms.