The Washington Post

Tips on foraging for mushrooms safely

Hank Shaw forages for edible ingredients in Sligo Creek Park with food blogger, Carol Blymire, and is delighted to find a large "Chicken of the Woods," mushroom which they will later cook into a dish Sunday September 18, 2011. (Dayna Smith/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

If you’re interested in learning more about edible wild mushrooms, North American Mycological Association president Bob Fulgency suggests finding a local association chapter and going on a mushroom hunting walk with an expert who can tell you what’s safe and what’s not. He says the rules of mushroom foraging are really simple: “If you don’t know what it is, throw it out. Don’t eat it.”

And, if you’re cooking wild mushrooms you’ve foraged, “never eat more than one kind of wild mushroom at a time, because if you have a reaction, you need to know which kind caused it,” he said.

For more information about Washington area mushroom hunting and identification, check out the Mycological Association of Washington, D.C. at

Two other resources that blogger and cookbook author Hank Shaw recommends:, a Web site curated by Michael Kuo, which provides a wealth of identification resources from the world’s foremost wild mushroom experts.

●“Mushrooms Demystified,” a book by David Arora.

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