Old Man of the Woods- Strobilomyces floccopus

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 amazing mushroom is an edible, but not considered a choice edible. I don’t know why because I LOVE it!  It has a great flavor and really lends itself to rice.

Old Man hiding in the leaves.
Old Man hiding in the leaves.

They are really trixy to find in the woods. They are super camouflaged!  That makes them kind of difficult to find.  They are a bolete.  Instead of having gills like most mushrooms have, they have pores underneath them.

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Pores of the Old Man of The Woods

One of the neatest things about it, though, is that when you cut them, the white flesh turns blood-red over a few minutes.

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Freshly cut; white flesh.

The pores also have an interesting look when cut; kind of honeycomb like.  Within a few minutes, it starts to blush pink.

The flesh is very firm; like a traditional button mushroom from the grocery store. I did learn the lesson though; cut the pores into small pieces. If you leave them in large pieces they take on the texture of chicken fat. Barf.

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Getting there!
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Almost done!After a few minutes, it looks more like this.  You can see that it is turning  a stronger red.

After about 15 minutes, it looks kind of like a cut of steak.  It’s a pretty dark red and the cut marks really give the illusion of meat.

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Old Man and Chanterelles.

That is the old man on the left with some Golden and Smooth Chanterelles.

When you cook with them, it turns your food a brown, almost black. They really lend themselves to rice and has a depth of flavor that is unique.  We have also made a white roux style sauce with it (spoiler: roux style white sauces work with almost ALL mushrooms!) to make pasties and it was the BOMB!!

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Rice Pilaf with Olm Man of the Woods

One of my favorite mushrooms!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Found a couple of these this weekend but am new to foraging and didn’t know they were edible. Thanks for your informative post.

    1. Thank you! Always make sure to properly ID them in a good field guide before eating!

  2. Susan Kaput says:

    My absolute favorite mushroom – tastes like steak. Need good eyes to spot them, though.

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