Know your fungi

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Know your fungi

Can you tell your porcinis from your pine rings? If not, stay out of the woods.

Alternatively, enlist the help of a passionate forager. Justin Williams ( showed TASTE the ropes.

There are well over 100 species of mushroom in South Africa, and of these fewer than five are deadline.

These are a few common (edible) varieties you might come across on your first forage.

Bay bolete

Similar to a porcini, with sponge beneath the cap.

Field Mushroom

Edible if it doesn’t smell of bleach or stain vivid yellow when cut or scratched.

pine rings

Also known as saffron milk caps, ideal for pickling.


These pricey umami bombs dry and keep well. Slice and lay on a raised oven rack, then leave to dry on a windowsill. They can be reconstituted with water and added to risottos or ground and mixed with salt for a pungent seasoning.

Shaggy Ink cap

These look like a judge’s wig and are edible. Not to be confused with the common ink cap which, although edible, will cause palpitations and nausea if eaten with alcohol. You’ll need to wait four days before drinking again.

Discover more delicious ways with mushrooms here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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