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Wood ear?


Chandra
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It does look like wood ear. I personally don't know of any toxic lookalikes. There is always a risk when consuming wild mushrooms. It's best to be certain of the identification of them prior to sampling any (even ones that are commonly choice or good edible species). Sometimes some people will have a toxic reaction to one, when others never do.  When consuming a wild mushroom for the first time, I usually keep a sample in the fridge and another sample in the freezer so that any people that are survived by me can assist the coroner in knowing if this was the cause of my death...?

 

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Looks like wood ear to me, too. One side is typically fuzzy-looking while the other is smooth. Although you should never rely on others to identify mushrooms for you, I think you're pretty safe with this one. You may be disappointed, though. Wood ears aren't exactly flavorful...they are used to add texture. Your best bet is to chop them up for a soup. A Google search will turn up plenty of recipes.

Bruce

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  • 4 months later...

I know this is super late but I think it also could have been amber jelly / Excidia Recisa I have one of these growing on a willow in my yard. They look fairly similar and are also edible. Anyone have tips on telling the two apart? I’m just getting into mycology so sorry if this is off topic or I’m reviving a thread that’s way too old haha

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  • 6 months later...
On 1/22/2022 at 4:08 PM, digiren said:

I know this is super late but I think it also could have been amber jelly / Excidia Recisa I have one of these growing on a willow in my yard. They look fairly similar and are also edible. Anyone have tips on telling the two apart? I’m just getting into mycology so sorry if this is off topic or I’m reviving a thread that’s way too old haha

Also super late as I just foraged my first Judas ears today, well, yesterday evening. The one sure way to pick the correct judas/jelly/wood ear is if its on Elder Trees, or debris of elder trees. From reading they may also grow on other trees but elder is the fungi's favorite and no other lookalikes grow on elder trees.

As for cooking, it's widely used by east asians to thicken soups or rehydrating them in something flavorful as they take on external flavor really well and get plump. You could try going to an asian grocery and checking them out and compare.

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Edited by Liquid Cultured
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Not sure if this is an important note or not but being a bug guy I've noticed the exact same flat, segmented millipede is at all the sites I find these and the white jellys. They are living under the fungi and nearby bark. If you don't know anything about millipedes and what some do when disturbed you might grab for one of these jelly fungi then bring it up to smell only to be repulsed by the smell of hydrogen cyanide. These flat millipedes and some others produce this chemical as a way of protecting themselves from predators by excreting it from their segments. You will find that mushrooms picked where not many of these insect are actively on that it has a nice faint smell, sometimes buttery. I don't think the concentration of cyanide would harm a human but it's hard to get off your skin smell wise, and I wouldn't imagine it will wash off easily.

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