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Entering the Mushrooms class I was a mycophagophobe; I was someone who was afraid to eat mushrooms, especially ones that I had collected. Any wild mushroom was too dangerous for me. It was not until I discovered Laetiporus sulphureus– Chicken of the Woods, that I felt comfortable enough to identify a fungus and then eat it. David Arora remarks in Mushrooms Demystified that this is one of the “foolproof four” — an unmistakable mushroom.
As with all foraging, the safest way to learn how to find Chicken of the Woods is to go hunting with an expert before heading out on your own. There are a few inedible, shelf-like mushrooms that beginners sometimes confuse with Chicken of the Woods, such as Hapalopilus croceus, Inonotus, and Bondarzewia berkeleyi. Although these polypore species are not poisonous, they taste like wood.
A NOVICE MUSHROOMERS SEARCH FOR SULPHER SHELF MUSHROOMS... AKA "CHICKEN OF THE WOODS"....THE FAMOUS POLYPORE.....Laetiporus sulphureus...EASILY IDENTIFIED ,NO POISON LOOK ALIKES....BUT IT IS RECOMMENDED NOT TO BE EATENED OFF OF LOCUST....EUCALYPTUS...AND CONIFERS...SO DO YOUR RESEARCH...WHEN IN DOUBT...THROW IT OUT....SAFE TRAILS
In some cases eating the mushroom "causes mild reactions . . . for example, swollen lips" or in rare cases "nausea, vomiting, dizziness and disorientation" to those who are sensitive. This is believed to be due to a number of factors that range from very bad allergies to the mushroom's protein, to toxins absorbed by the mushroom from the wood it grows on (for example, eucalyptus or cedar or yew) to simply eating specimens that have decayed past their prime