While I wouldn’t say that mushroom hunting is widespread; of those who do hunt mushrooms, most probably hunt Morels. There are a WHOLE LOT more mushrooms in the woods other than Morels.
NEVER EAT ANYTHING YOU ARE UNSURE OF! I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T CORRECTLY IDENTIFY SOMETHING! Lawyers made me say it.
This time of year there are several types of edible mushrooms fruiting.
Oysters, Chanterelles, Honeys, Wood Ears, Old men of the Woods, Black Trumpets, Puffballs, Chicken of the Woods, assorted boletes…. I know I am forgetting a lot.
We went with Chanterelles, Chickens and Old Men in mind. I’ll never turn down Oysters, but right now the Chanterelles are out of control.
These are examples of Old Men of the Woods. Nothing really looks like them. They are a variety of Bolete.
The Chanterelle and Old Man season has been almost 2 months long. That is fairly unusual but the weather has been really strange. Last year, the temperatures were so high and the rain so low that there just weren’t any Chanterelles. They are making up for it in SPADES this year. Early on we saw a lot of the Cinnabar Chants, but this last weekend we mostly found the Golden and the Smooth.
We got them home, washed, picked, chopped and then sautéed them all together in olive oil and butter with onions and garlic. DELISH! They keep pretty well, at least for a week or two, like this. You can add it to your favorite dishes. You can also freeze them cooked and save them for later.
I strongly encourage you to look up your local mycological society and get involved! Mushroom hunting is a lot of fun. Learning about wild edibles is a great way to spend time together as a family.