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How to Check if Mushrooms are Poisonous?

Nina NordNina Nord
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Porcini mushrooms

Mushrooms are strange organisms that occupy a transitional position between the plant and animal kingdoms. In the seventeenth century, some Europeans even thought they were created by the devil.

Mushrooms contain a lot of proteins, as well as many substances that give mushroom dishes their characteristic taste and aroma.

But besides being delicious, mushrooms can also be dangerous, especially if you decide to pick them yourself. Some poisonous mushrooms cause organ damage that is irreversible.

Some of the poisonous mushrooms are very deadly and rarely even the intervention of doctors can save a person. Therefore, it is best to buy cultivated field mushrooms if you are a mushroom lover. But if you are also fond of collecting them, you should be very careful.

Even one poisonous mushroom found by chance among edibles can release poisonous substances, so when in doubt, throw out the whole basket.

Remember, that you should only consume mushrooms that are perfectly healthy in appearance in addition to being edible. Old and wormy mushrooms cause an upset stomach and nausea.

Do not collect mushrooms in a plastic bag, as they will form toxic substances from the heat. Do not pick mushrooms near roads and factories because they accumulate poisons.

It is an absolute fallacy that edible mushrooms have a pleasant aroma and poisonous ones - unpleasant. The field mushroom does not differ at all in aroma from its poisonous twin - the white and also the green fly agaric.

The field mushroom has brownish-reddish gills on its underside and the green fly agaric has a white tinted ones. At first glance, however, it can be confused with the field mushroom.

The green fly agaric (amanita) is distinguished by a drooping membranous ring, while in field mushrooms these rings are tight. Depending on the region and the weather, the cap can have a different color - it is possible to find greenish, brownish, yellowish, white or grayish. The main distinguishing feature is that the coloring in the center of the cap is always darker than the periphery. When you break open a green fly agaric, it is white and does not change the color of its flesh.

The saffron milk-cap, which is very tasty, especially pickled, has a poisonous twin - woolly milk-cap. The two mushrooms are identical in appearance, but after they are broken, a different colored juice flows from the gills and stems. An orange juice flows from the stem of the saffron milk-cap and a white and spicy juice from the stem of the woolly milk-cap.

The flesh of woolly milk-cap is fleshy, hard, tender and has whitish hues. Its characteristic is that it does not change its color when injured. The gills of this poisonous double are densely spaced, quite thin and fragile with a yellow whitish to pale pink color.

One of the tastiest mushrooms - the porcini mushroom, has two poisonous twins - the Satan's bolete and the Rubroboletus rhodoxanthus.

You can tell the porcini mushroom from Satan's by several criteria. The lower part of the gills of the Satan's bolete are red, and in the edible porcini mushroom it is greenish. When injured, the poisonous Satan's bolete turns blue quite quickly. Sometimes, however, some types of edible porcini mushrooms also turn blue, so it is recommended that they be picked only by experts.