Chicken of the Woods

Exercise leads to education!  Who knew?

Your question right now is probably “what are you talking about?”, and it’s a fair question. So here’s what’s going on:  yesterday morning, I was out on the nature trails at work doing my morning walk. I’d just hit the end of the Overlook Trail and was heading back, when I saw this:

The picture doesn’t quite do it justice. It was this spectacular fan of yellow-red shelf fungus growing on a fallen log, and it got me wondering what it was. So I took a couple of pictures and headed back to my desk to consult Google.

Assuming that my Google-fu is strong, that fungus is Laetiporus cincinnatus, an edible bracket fungus that is commonly known as crab-of-the-woods, sulphur shelf, or chicken-of-the-woods. Why?  Because people report that it tastes like chicken (or crab, or lobster) and that it can be cooked and then substituted for chicken in many recipes.

Of course, I could be wrong. It could be something poisonous. And even if it isn’t, approximately 10% if people have “adverse reactions@ to eating it – vomiting and fever, most commonly. Plus, being honest, I’m not prepared to risk eating wild fungus based on five minutes of Internet research. I think I’ll just admire it and otherwise leave it alone.

Still, how cool was that?

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