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Edible Mushroom

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

The fleshy and nutritious fruit bodies of some types of macrofungi are edible mushrooms (fungi which bear fruiting structures that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye). They can grow below ground (hypogeous) or above ground (epigeous), both of which can be harvested by hand. The absence of toxic effects on humans, as well as a pleasant taste and scent, can be used to describe edibility. Mushrooms that are edible are eaten for their nutritional and culinary value. Umami flavor comes from mushrooms, especially dried shiitake.


Many fungal species are edible mushrooms, which are either harvested wild or cultivated. Markets often stock easily cultivated and common wild mushrooms, and those that are more difficult to come by (such as the coveted truffle, matsutake, and morel) can be collected on a smaller scale by private collectors. Certain preparations can make certain poisonous mushrooms safe to eat.


Any wild mushroom should be described before being assumed to be edible. The only safe way to ensure edibility and protect against potential accidents is to accurately determine and properly identify a species. Some mushrooms that are generally considered safe to eat can cause allergic reactions in some people, and old or poorly preserved specimens can result in food poisoning. When consuming some fungus for the first time, extreme caution should be exercised, and minimal amounts should be eaten in case of individual allergies. Several species of the genus Amanita, especially Amanita phalloides, the death cap, are deadly poisonous mushrooms that are often confused with edible mushrooms and are responsible for many fatal poisonings. Mushrooms that grow in contaminated areas can accumulate contaminants such as heavy metals, making even normally edible species harmful.


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