This is what it should look like inside if you're going to eat it. Check out this monster! An old Giant Puffball, already going to spore stage. Tearing open the old Giant Puffball.
Edible or Medicinal Wild Plants
It released a big cloud of spores. Walking across a field or woods you spot what looks like a somewhat deflated soccer ball Touching it reveals a rubbery surface over a spongy interior. You've just found a Giant Puffball! These are pretty rare in Texas, being only found in a few counties in central Texas. They prefer cool weather so look in winter and early spring.
Texas has plenty of smaller puffballs such as Vascellum curtisii, Scleroderma texense, Gymnopilus spectabilis, Lycoperdon pyriforme, and others but none of these get much bigger than a lime and most are smaller than that. Giant Puffball Calvatia gigantea is in a humongous size class all its own. When collecting a Giant Puffball to eat you must always cut it in half top to bottom to make sure: A. It's creamy white all the way through. No sign of yellow or brown which indicate it's already making spores which will make you ill. There are no immature gills or an outline of a traditional mushroom hidden in the mushroom.
Foraging Texas: Giant Puffball Mushrooms
Seeing either indicates you do NOT have an edible puffball but rather a young, deadly Amanita or other dangerous mushroom that looks like a puffball but matures into a normal "toadstool" shape. Outer surface is composed of conical spines and irregular-shaped whitish to cream-colored warts that become brownish with age. They eventually fall away leaving pits or net-like scars on the spore case beneath. The spore case is divided into an upper fertile portion gleba and a sterile, stalk-like base, tan to pale brown or grayish brown, darker in age, thin-walled, papery, gleba white and fleshy at first becoming olive-brown and powdery as spores mature.
Base sterile, chambered, taking up about a third to one half of the fruiting body. Spores round, minutely warted, pale yellow yellow-brown to olive-brown in mass. Can be sauteed in butter or added to soups and stews. Cut every puffball vertically and check to see that there is no outline of a mushroom inside. Hi, I love your site.
Battered and fried! Any reason you do not touch on any other fungus? On the lower right hand side of the home page there is a list of categories. I enjoy reading everything in your posts. I wanted to try and buy shitake mushroom spores. To grow my own. But have a hard time trying to find oak logs to plant them in. Have a blessed day. Funny story about those shitake logs, Pamela. The entire inside of the cupboard was lined with shiitake mushrooms.
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A little bit too successful. We quietly closed the door and left it as-is. Thanks for this post!
Wipe it off, rinse it with a dribble from your waterbottle, or take it home and bleach it? I have eaten puffballs for a few years, always the small ones.
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Recently I ate three very small smaller than a dime puffballs and, yes, I can identify them, in fact I cut one open to show a friend BUT I experienced a little nausea an hour later — same thing happened with meadow mushrooms — I seem to have acquired a rejection of these wonderful eatables!! I know that one can go from being unaffected by poison ivy to being affected — I guess the same thing happens? Ever heard of this with anyone else? I was given a strong antibiotic at the hospital and after that I suddenly had trouble with many foods that had been common fare for me, so that is one way our digestive tract takes a beating.
Also even with poison ivy some native peoples eat tiny leaves of poison ivy each year to get a resistance to the reaction. This comment is separate from mushroom consumption. A strong antibiotic can destroy a lot of good bacteria in the gut leading to a lot of gastric issues. Pre- and probiotics can help restore your previous flora. It is as if the pre- and pro become placeholders as your own bacteria array recovers. Yes, my husband developed an allergy to morel mushrooms!
He used to pick them and eat them every spring and now if he just touches one, he will be in the bathroom for the evening. I eat Calvatia gigantea or the Giant Puffballs almost every year. I like to slice them really thin and brown with butter in a pan then use them like crepes. I cube them for soups like miso and cut them into long strips for stir fry. I recently found a beautiful puffball about a foot in diameter, but when I cut it open, although the texture was uniform all the way through, the centre was tinged with green.
There was no smell though. The skin came off really easy, I did not use the brown part of course. Green , even a slight tinge , is not good. Be patient, they will come.
Puff balls are profuse once they get started. When they are too old to eat they turn greenish brown.
So maybe slightly green at first? Probably past edible stage. There is a non-edible puffball. DO NOT mix species together in your collecting basket.