The eye of the beholder

A few more flowers from yesterday's visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden:




Coco stayed home yesterday, but I made it up to her today by taking her on a nature walk. Here she stops to admire a large and picturesque fungus:


While the fungus is more subdued in color than the flowers, I think it more than makes up for it in size and unpredictable attitude.

UPDATE (07/23/07): Commenter ThomasD thinks the fungus Coco is smelling may be edible, and the link he provides clearly illustrates that it is indeed the "Chicken of the Woods" fungus (Laetiporus sulphureus).

Intrigued, I found a recipe here:

Also known as Sulfur mushroom, the Chicken of the Woods should be harvested when they are young and tender. Since it is a variety that may cause discomfort or reactions for some due to the toxins in this mushroom, caution is advised when eating this mushroom. Specimens that are found attached and growing on eucalyptus are considered inedible.

To prepare, clean the leafy sections thoroughly and cut away the woody core, using only the leafy sections of young tender specimens. If the mushroom is to be stored, keep it refrigerated and use within several days for the best flavor or cut into pieces, blanche or sauté and then freeze. The flavor which represents the name, tastes somewhat like chicken. Meaty in texture, it has a noticeable aroma and desired flavor that provides an excellent enhancement to rice, risotto, curry, and various chicken or poultry dishes, such as chicken and turkey casseroles. The mushroom can also be sautéed in butter, flavored with garlic, onions or shallots, and served as a side dish or an ingredient in egg dishes.

Unlike the flowers, the fungus was at a local park and not the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

I'm tempted to give it a try. I don't know how long these things live, though, and for all I know a greedy gourmand (if I may use the word that way) has already beaten me to it.

posted by Eric on 07.22.07 at 10:08 PM


I was going to suggest that the fungus is of an edible variety.

But, I'm thinking that the BBG might not appreciate you harvesting their specimens.

ThomasD   ·  July 23, 2007 5:06 PM

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