About the edibility of mushrooms

To the question of the edibility of mushrooms: the subtleties of the definition

Passion for "quiet hunting" rolls in waves, confirming the cyclical course of history. In my conscious memory there were at least two such “waves”: in the seventies, when the intelligentsia once again turned “to face nature,” remember? Massive cacti on the windowsills, hiking in the forest, "natural food", "sugar - white death", yoga, all that. And in the late eighties - early nineties, against the background of a general shortage, empty shelves in grocery stores and the distribution of roadsides for vegetable gardens, "mushrooms replace meat", "pasture will save the world" and other costs of restructuring.

And now, In my humble opinion , we are experiencing another such wave.

A walk in the woods is definitely a useful activity: fresh air, warm-up of joints, rest from the monitor. And if we go out into the forest not with a half liter, but with a basket for mushrooms, this is generally super! Looking closely to see if the mushroom is hiding where is very good for the eyes tired of the TV, and bending and squatting behind the find are good for the back and legs.

What's next? Got some mushrooms, and? "Quickly pickled and fifty each?"

By 50

Or try to figure out what we have there in the basket?

Eh, good now! In the seventies mentioned, it was possible only to consult with the grandmothers at the entrance, well, maybe call them by phone. In the nineties, especially advanced people could ask their fellow FIDOShniks, the rest were consulted by the same grandmothers at the entrance. And now! Beauty, progress! Almost everyone has mobile phones with a camera, click-click, and the network, for help in determining. And the eternal question: "Is it okay to eat it?"

But really, what can you eat and what you don't need?

Let's try to figure it out, point by point. But first, three simple rules

Rule number minus one :

Not sure - don't touch.

That's right, "don't touch", don't "don't take". Because there are several types of deadly poisonous mushrooms in which everything is poisonous, even spores. When they say deadly poisonous, one should not take it as a figure of speech, it must be taken literally: people die from mushroom poisoning. If the mushroom is not marked as deadly poisonous, but is listed as simply poisonous, you still do not need to risk it: poisoning is poisoning, a blow to all systems, everything is by no means simple there . And the consequences of poisoning can be very serious, from indigestion, dehydration, liver and kidney damage to nervous system damage, and even death if it is too late to seek help.

Take a photo of an unknown mushroom right in the forest, fill it with a stick on its side or turn it over to take a photo from different sides. And that's enough, let it lie there.

Rule number zero :

We are not telepathic.

Yes, a very good team has crept up on WikiGrib. Yes, we are trying to identify mushrooms as accurately as possible. But we only see the photo. We have not seen the mushroom "alive", we have only photos at our disposal, and these photos are not always of normal quality. Therefore, the reliability of the determination is not always 100%.

And believe me, they will tell you the same on any resource where there is such a service as fortune telling by a photo. In the end, the choice is yours, read the descriptions for the proposed options, compare with your find and decide.

Rule number one :

In the exact definition of the mushroom, you are primarily interested in yourself, you who upload photos to the "Identifier". The accuracy and efficiency of the determination directly depends on the accuracy of color rendering, on the sharpness of the photo, on the detail of the description, on whether there is a photo from different angles. And, in the end, the answer to the question "is it okay to eat?" and, most importantly, is it safe to eat.

Identification of mushrooms by photo

So, you posted a photo of your find in the identifier and you were immediately answered, a picture of a mushroom and a name. Let's see what information is immediately visible here. Here, clearly, with arrows.


Icons are superimposed on the photo of the mushroom. They are very informative! If their meaning is not entirely clear, you can move the cursor to them, a hint will appear. In my example, the mushroom is inedible and poisonous. And the name of the mushroom itself in this block is a link to the description of the mushroom, with additional photos. Therefore, it makes no sense to ask if the mushroom is edible and wait for an answer: just look at the icons, follow the link and read.


  • edible
  • conditionally edible
  • inedible
  • poisonous
  • hallucinogenic
  • curative

We will not talk about the last three: with the poisonous, everything is clear and so; it is better to look for information on treatment with mushrooms in the section "Mushroom Medicine" or on specialized sites; hallucinogens are forbidden in our country.

But let's talk about the first three in detail.

What does "Edible Mushroom" mean?

This means that such a mushroom can be eaten. Provided that you are not allergic to mushrooms, of course.

But let's be reasonable!

If you collect a bucket of whites, which are absolutely unambiguous and certainly edible, fry them all at a time and eat them in one sitting, believe me, it will get bad.

We draw conclusions:

- edible mushrooms are edible in reasonable quantities

- provided that they were collected not near a motorway, not near a trash can, not at an old cattle burial ground - remember the horror stories in the style of "We collected real whites and were poisoned with cadaveric poison"? - because mushrooms, like a sponge, absorb everything from the soil, including substances that are not useful for our digestion.

For example, a mushroom in a city, near a road. This is definitely impossible to eat:

Mushrooms in the city

- provided that the mushrooms are not in the last stage of aging and are not eaten by worms.

Example, white, hopelessly eaten by worms:

Wormy white

Hericium, old and rotten so much that his needles are sprinkled:

Old hedgehog

Why is it undesirable to eat old mushrooms?

A counter question: what kind of bread do you eat? Fresh or stale with a moldy smell? What kind of meat do you buy? Veal or beef from a cow slaughtered because she can no longer calve? What kind of chicken do you prefer? Young or old?

When I see in the identifier photos of mushrooms that are living their last hours, for some reason I recall this excerpt from Dumas, "The Three Musketeers":

The poor hen was thin and covered with that thick and bristly skin which, in spite of all efforts, no bones could pierce; they must have been looking for her for a long time, until at last they found her on the roost, where she hid in order to calmly die of old age.

Examples of old mushrooms, so old that it is difficult to identify them, we have them under the code name "dried fruit":

old mushroom

old mushroom

old mushroom

Any mushroom, even the most edible one without any "conditionally", accumulates more and more "all nasty" with age - from rain, from soil / wood, even from air. And this "muck" does not always go away after boiling. The older the mushroom, the more substances have accumulated in it, which are by no means useful for our digestion. In addition, in older specimens, natural aging and cell decay processes begin.

An example, a very old liver, the upper skin is already turning black, the edges are dry, rotting areas are visible near the leg:

Old hepatic

But the ages at a very old age:

Old mushrooms

Why is it undesirable to eat "wormy" mushrooms?

First of all, of course, the question is quantity. If you can see one wormhole somewhere out there, you can pretend not to notice. If there are a lot of them, if you can see not only holes eaten by worms and larvae, but also the worms themselves, you need to think carefully. And the jokes "mushrooms with meat" are not always to the point, there are so many worms that they are no longer mushrooms with meat, but meat with mushrooms.

Do not be fooled by the advice "hold the mushrooms in salty water, the worms will crawl."

The worms themselves may crawl out, so the problem is not with them, the eastern cuisine considers all this crawling-wriggling a delicacy. The problem is that all these living creatures not only ate the mushroom, they also digested it, and dumped the digestive products there, in the mushroom. Do you want to eat mushrooms with poop of worms and larvae? It's like eating a chicken with dung or a cow with dung.

Examples, look, everything has already been eaten, we have nothing left! Worm dust and waste:

wormy mushroom

wormy mushroom

wormy mushroom

wormy mushroom

And, of course, a very important factor is that all these invaders greatly spoil the taste and smell of the mushroom.

What does "conditionally edible mushroom" mean?

This means that the mushroom is not poisonous, that it is completely edible, but only under certain conditions. Which ones? - usually written in the article about the mushroom. Most often it happens:

- the mushroom is edible at a young age (usually this refers to edible polypores and is due to the fact that as it grows and matures, the mushroom becomes tough, woody, it is simply impossible to chew it like that chicken from the Three Musketeers. taste bitter.)

For example, a sulfur-yellow tinder fungus in the "piece of wood" stage is already inedible:

old HOA

- needs soaking (this usually applies to milkmen, soaking allows you to get rid of bitterness)

- needs preliminary boiling (usually it is recommended to drain the broth, not to use it for making soups)

- in rare cases, the edibility factor is tied to some other factors, for example, the type of tree (forest) where the mushroom is collected: sulfur-yellow tinder fungus from conifers can cause side effects. Or weather conditions: stitches grown in high temperatures accumulate much more poison in the fabric than the same stitches grown in cold weather (talking about spring stitches).

Failure to comply with the conditions can cause digestive problems.

Of course, everything that has been said about edible mushrooms is applicable here: we collect not old, not wormy, not in the city.

What does "Inedible mushroom" mean? Why are inedible and poisonous classified into different categories?

Inedible mushrooms are those that are not eaten. For different reasons. But no poison was found in them.

So, the mushroom may just be too hard (most tinder fungi, it's like chewing a piece of wood)

Or the mushroom is unsuitable for human consumption because of an unpleasant taste or smell that cannot be removed in any way, neither by digestion nor freezing.

There are a huge number of mushrooms, the nutritional properties of which no one has studied, because no one has tried to seriously consider them from a culinary point of view: mushrooms are too small, there is no pulp as such. Usually in this case, in the article, in the "Edible" block, "Unknown" is put.

And mushrooms are also classified as inedible, in which there are no substances assimilated by the digestive system of mammals. They may not be harsh, with a pleasant smell, not disgusting in taste, but eating them is useless, like paper.

Why are different sources of one and the same type of mushroom classified as either edible or poisonous? Whom to believe?

You need to believe your own sense of self-preservation: if you are not sure, we throw it away. I don't remember in the news reports that someone died from not eating mushrooms. But on the contrary, he ate - and in intensive care, and often with a fatal outcome, quite often.

Several factors take place here: region, weather conditions, relevance of information.

Mushrooms are highly variable. One and the same type of mushroom grown in different conditions (this is primarily soil and temperature) can give completely different indicators in research. A textbook example here is the lines. The warmer, the more poisonous the mushroom. Therefore, if the research was carried out, say, in France, with its warm climate, then the mushroom will be listed as poisonous. Because there they are really poisoned. In countries with a more continental climate and colder spring (Belarus, Russia, Ukraine), stitches are used for food.

But with the satanic mushroom, the situation is the opposite: in France, for example, it is considered almost a delicacy, in our country it is recognized as unambiguously poisonous.

Information relevance: what year is the source? In paper reference books of the 70s, the slender pig was considered a conditionally edible mushroom (4th category). The poison was found in it much later.

An old pig in the "almost rotten" stage. Poison squared:

Old pig

You asked a question, posted a photo, but there is no answer yet. What to do?

Place the mushrooms in the refrigerator, in a bag or tray with a lid.

Look closely at the photos: maybe they turned out not good enough? In this case, it would be a good idea to try to take clearer photos. Here's a guide on how to photograph mushrooms.

Add a description to the mushroom: where it grew, smell, some distinctive features. "Where grew up" - in no case coordinates! Where did it grow - in the forest (which one? Coniferous, deciduous, mixed), in a meadow, on the side of the road, on a stump (which one?) - describe this, this is important.

If the mushroom remains undetermined during the day, throw it away.

And then let it turn out that it was white or a chanterelle, that it could be eaten. You will find more and you will know what it is.

It is much worse if you decide to try an unknown mushroom, and in the end it turns out to be a pale toadstool, fiberglass or gallerina, but you no longer know what it was.


The purpose of this post is not in any way frightening, as it might seem.

I wanted to convey to you, dear reader, one very simple truth: mushrooms are by no means harmless. Therefore, before cooking and eating, make sure it is safe.

And now you can "fifty"!

The article uses photographs from the "Identifier". According to the Site Rules, all photos uploaded for determination can be used to illustrate articles.