Saturday, November 13, 2010

Master mushroom chef

This morning, while out walking with the dogs, I came upon half-a-dozen sturdy Coprinus comatus mushrooms. Apparently they exist too in Australia, since they figure on this 1981 postage stamp. Often described as shaggy, because of the tufts on its surface, this mushroom was first described in Europe at about the time that Australia was settled. Maybe it was transported to Australia in soil attached to the hoofs of animals. On the other hand, it could well be a variety that has existed right throughout the world, ever since the Gondwana era. That's an intriguing question… about which I know nothing.

I sliced each shaggy in two, lengthwise. Then I cooked them gently in butter, on both sides, in a non-stick frying pan.

I took them off the stove as soon as they started to brown, sprinkled them abundantly with coarsely ground pepper and added a spoonful of olive oil. I ate them with a thick slice of toasted homemade walnut bread and butter. Smooth texture, which reminded me of cooked bananas. Subtle creamy/fruity flavor. Absolutely delicious.

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