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Quiz

Quiz: Are These Mushrooms Choice, Edible or Inedible/Poisonous?

One of the ways that mushrooms can be categorized is by their edibility. That is, mushrooms are either choice, edible, inedible, or poisonous.

Choice mushrooms are considered by most expert mushroom foragers as the very best to eat. Edible mushrooms can be eaten, but they aren’t the best to eat, for various reasons. Most inedible mushrooms can be eaten, but they are bad tasting, have a bad aroma, or otherwise wouldn’t be eaten except in a survival situation. Most poisonous mushrooms can cause hallucinations, nausea, headaches, liver failure, kidney failure or similar symptoms and a few can kill. The number of deadly mushrooms is few, but they should be avoided. For this quiz, inedible mushrooms and poisonous ones are lumped together.

In this quiz, there are pictures of some common mushrooms. The test is to select whether each is choice, edible, or inedible/poisonous. This isn’t at all easy. As a single tip, though, most people should know one of the following mushrooms even if they’ve never foraged for mushrooms in their life.

Disclaimer: A person should never eat a mushroom if they aren’t entirely certain about the identification. This is not a tutorial to identify edible mushrooms and it shouldn’t be used as one.

  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous
  • Is this mushroom…

    • Choice
    • Edible
    • Inedible/Poisonous

What do you think?

13 points
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Written by Rex Trulove

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48 Comments

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  1. I never am able to tell fairy ring, stumpers and honey from pholiota. Puffballs are good, I take exception with choice, but, lycoperdon is terribly amusing! Coprinus is much fun too.
    How are you with medicinal plants?
    Perhaps you can illuminate my experimentation with ghost plant? Pic in previous post.
    Grin, nuts, fish, birds, deer, elk, fungus, berries, leaves, bark. All excuses, (for me), to wander the woods, aimlessly, for days, weeks, well really, years…

    • I’m an herbalist, outdoorsman, fisherman, camper, hunter, etc, so I spend as much time as possible out in the forest, too. Yes, I know a bit about wild plants; not just medicinal ones but also edible ones.

      “Choice” is subjective, but I used the term to mean what the majority of foragers consider to be choice. I disagree with several. I do love giant puffball steaks, though. :))

      • Exactly! I have seen them when gathering Chanterelles. Finally started to study them, two years later, conducted the test I posted. Then tried a tea, (the initial taste was a research ender), that worked quite well for me. A few brave souls asked to try it with results above my expectations but, I’m concerned of placebo effect and cannot seem to find more than cursory research…Sigh.

        • To my knowledge, there hasn’t been a great deal of research done about it. That isn’t particularly unusual, though. Many plants that have been used medicinally since Greek and Roman times still haven’t had more than cursory research done on them. A large number that are routinely used in Europe and can be purchased in drug stores can’t be sold in the US as medicinal, despite solid proof that they work. The FDA won’t allow them to carry “medicinal” in the description. They have to say “herbal supplement”.

    • Brenda, please see my response to @ninaartist. A choice mushroom is one that the majority of expert mushroom foragers feel is superior in taste. I don’t always agree, but the term is used as a consensus of the best-tasting mushrooms.

      Sometimes, on the other hand, I definitely agree with that consensus. For example, the last mushroom in the quiz is Agaricus bisporus. It is edible, but very few foragers consider it to be choice. When this mushroom is wild, it is most often known as a field mushroom or meadow mushroom. Most people know the mushroom as a button mushroom, white mushroom, crimini mushroom, or portobello mushroom. It is the most commonly sold mushroom in the world, but it isn’t choice.

    • Some mushrooms are easy to identify, as there are no other mushrooms that are truly similar. (For instance, even false morels don’t look much like morels…both are in the quiz.) The problem is that there are some edible ones that look very similar to inedible or poisonous ones and to really learn to distinguish, a person needs to go foraging with someone who can identify the mushrooms. Actually seeing them is the best way to learn.

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