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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

When consuming mushrooms is not dangerous: recipes for Fried Parasol Mushroom and Tripe with Cauliflower Mushroom

ByDominika Margolt

Nov 29, 2022

Parasol mushroom

(Polish: kania czubajka)

The parasol mushroom (or if you want a more scientific name – Macrolepiota procera) is a fungus with a prominent and large “hat”. It grows commonly on well-drained soils. It can be found solitary or in groups and fairy rings in pastures and sporadically in woodland. Globally, the parasol mushroom is widespread in temperate regions.

Potential hazard

Parasol mushroom is sometimes mistaken with Amanita phalloides, which is also known under a beautiful name “death angel”. This mushroom is deadly poisonous and is frequently encountered in Poland. Its one small fruiting body can kill the whole family. Therefore, it is essential to know the significant differences between the two.

The most popular way of preparing the parasol mushrooms in Poland is frying them so that they resemble pork chops (Polish: kania smażona a’la schabowe). Below you can find a  recipe for this dish.

Recipe for Fried Parasol Mushrooms pork chop style

(Polish: kania a’la schabowy)

Ingredients:

  • 6 parasol mushrooms
  • 8 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg
  • salt and freshly grounded pepper
  • oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. Remove the stalks. Use only the heads of the parasol mushrooms because the stems are tough.
  2. In order to prepare the batter, combine breadcrumbs with the eggs. Season it with salt and pepper. Mix the batter carefully and set aside for a few minutes.
  3. Wash the caps shortly to get rid of the dirt. Dip the dry caps in the batter and put them on the pan with hot oil. Fry the mushrooms until they become golden.
  4. Remember that fried parasol mushrooms taste best when served straightaway.

 

Cauliflower mushroom

Cauliflower fungus (Polish: kozia broda, which literally means goat beard, proper English name: Sparassis crispa) is a species of parasitic mushroom characterized by its unique shape and is common worldwide. Its appearance can be described as similar to a sea sponge, a brain or a cauliflower, hence its popular name. The generic name comes from the Greek word sparassein, which means to tear.

Its cultivation and trade becomes increasingly popular in Korea, Japan, the United States and Australia.

From 1983 to 2014, the cauliflower fungus was a protected species. Currently, due to its popularity and the fact that it is not an endangered species anymore, it is allowed to pick it up.

Recipe for Tripe with Cauliflower Mushroom

(Polish: kozia broda a’la flaczki)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower mushroom
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsley root
  • ½ celery root
  • 2 onions
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 allspice peas
  • 2 teaspoons of marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon of merjoram
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons of sweet pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of grounded pepper
  • 1 l of vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons of oil

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the mushroom carefully in cold water and chop them.
  2. Cover the mushroom pieces with cold water and place on the cooker. After the water starts boiling, cook under a lid for 10 minutes.
  3. Cooked mushroom pieces put into hot vegetable broth. Add bay leaves and allspice.
  4. Peel the carrots, parsley root and celery root and grate it. Afterwards, fry it and add to the mushrooms.
  5. Peel the onion, chop finely, fry it and add to the mixture.
  6. Chop the bell peppers and fry them on the remaining oil. Then, add it to the tripe.
  7. At the end, grind the garlic, cut the parsley and add both to the pot. Season it with all the spices.

 

Amanita muscaria (aka red toadstool)

Amanita muscaria is a widespread and remarkably noticeable mushroom found in temperate regions of both hemispheres. Known also under the names Fly agaric or Fly amanita, this iconic red mushroom is one of the most recognizable fungi in popular culture. It was used extensively in the Mario video game series and in “The Smurfs” comics. It is frequently associated with magic, fairies, and the illusory world of the imagination, arousing associations with Alice’s trip into Wonderland and a red-suited Santa Claus with his flying reindeer. In many cultures it serves ritual and mystical purposes.

Amanita muscaria is a conspicuous mushroom, as its red cap with white warts create a vivid contrast against the green and brown of the birch and pine forests where it grows.

Both names “Fly agaric” and “Amanita muscaria” actually come from its past domestic purpose. The mushrooms used to be used as an insecticide, in order to kill the common house fly (Musca domestica). People would leave a piece of the mushroom’s cap in a glass of water or milk, and the flies landing on the mushroom would be stunned, often drowning in the liquid.

Controversies regarding the fly agaric

With mushroom-picking being a very popular pastime in autumn in Poland, one basic lesson every child in the country learns is to stay away from the red ones. However, the common wisdom is now being challenged by many people in Poland, who want to become more connected to the nature, vouching for the therapeutic properties of the mushroom.

Last years, Amanita muscaria has grown popular as the information about their supposed therapeutic properties is spreading. Poles with their adoration to picking mushrooms decided not to overlook this noticeable mushroom. The most common way of using the mushroom is preparing the liqueur which is used either orally or externally.

Amanita muscaria has a mixed reputation. For many people, it inspires either love or hate, a cautionary approach, or mild respect and curiosity. There is a lack of consensus about its toxicity, with a number mixed reports about its use. Although in most books, Amanita muscaria is considered poisonous, in many cultures, it is regarded as both edible and medicinal.

Nowadays, Amanita muscaria is mostly used externally, as a homemade liqueur, for neuromuscular pain, rheumatic pain, sciatica, and neuralgia. Nevertheless, there are countries, such as the Netherlands or the United Kingdom, where possession, purchase and sale are prohibited.