Botany

Coprinus comatus

Today we are going to talk about a type of edible mushroom that is considered one of the easiest to identify. It is the Coprinus comatus. It is a very demanding mushroom and easy to identify due to its curious and elongated shape. While it is one of the easiest to find, they are also the ones that decompose before. Just a few hours after collecting them, they already begin to decompose.

In this article we are going to teach you all its characteristics and tricks so that you can take advantage of it and taste it before they decompose.

Main features

It is a mushroom that has a cylindrical and ovoid hat when it is young. As it grows and develops, it has its characteristic bell shape. It is usually 3 to 8 cm in diameter and 5 to 20 cm long. The cuticle is fibrous and white in color. This color stands out easily among plants when it comes to harvesting it. In addition, you will have no doubt about the species you are collecting since there is no other fungus with a morphology like this.

At the apex of the hat it has some scales that are not white, but of a more brownish color. The cuticle breaks into large scales and looks like hair spread over its entire surface. The margin is quite smooth. This special feature extends throughout the hat and undoes everything it has as it grows. Finally, when it is more developed, it turns into ink.

The blades are numerous, quite wide and white in color. When hatched they turn pink, but as the spores mature they turn black. It also has some interspersed lamellae called lamélulas.

As for the foot, it is usually between 12 and 20 cm high with 1.5 cm in diameter. It is hollow and quite easy. With any blow it can be broken. It has traces of veil like a whitish ring that ends up staining black with the spores. The meat of the Coprinus comatus is thin and has a pleasant smell. It is white when it is young and turns black when it grows up.

Edible mushroom

It is one of the easiest edible mushrooms to identify, but at the same time one of the most delicate. In just a few hours after harvest they begin to decompose. It is known in gastronomy by other common names such as squid, barbuda, sombrerillo, silly mushroom or candle snuffers. These names are used to refer to this specimen in its gastronomic uses.

It is usually recognized in a simple way thanks to its peculiar shape. It has a high water content and that makes it have an accelerated growth, but have little consistency. It is capable of expanding rapidly and explosively. In its optimal conditions it grows throughout a single day to have its final shape. This is something that only this species can have. It is also one of the reasons why it is so well known. That is, it is only one day that it can grow and have its final edible form if the environmental conditions are optimal.

The problem arises when you collect it. In the same way that it is capable of developing rapidly, we find an equally rapid rate of degradation. In just a few hours after harvesting it begins to decompose. If we let it decompose completely, we will have a black liquid.

Distribution and gastronomy

The Coprinus comatus commonly develops in areas you are well paid. In order to grow so quickly, you need a soil that has a high concentration of nutrients. This causes that it appears frequently in fields, meadows and even in the margins of the ways of the agricultural or cattle fields. In these cases, these places are loaded with nutrients and the fungus takes advantage of them to develop rapidly.

To collect these mushrooms, you need a lot of humidity. For this reason, look for places that have a lot of humidity and are shady to increase the probability of finding the bush squid.

As for the gastronomic field, this mushroom has a quite delicious flavor. We must be careful when collecting it because we can be confused with another mushroom of the same genus known as Coprinus atramentarius. This mushroom has a gray, smooth and ribbed cuticle, so it should not be a problem when collecting it. It is not toxic unless it is consumed with alcohol. We can go for a family lunch and accompany these mushrooms with a good cold beer. In these cases, it is when we make the combination that will make it toxic to the body.

Coprinus comatus uses

Something that we can highlight about the mount squid is that it has a medicinal effect that no other mushrooms have. For example, some substances that serve as antitumor drugs for breast cancer can be extracted. This greatly helps cancer cells not grow and new tumor colonies do not form.

The use and properties is quite varied, so that a good use is made of this mushroom. Although it is thought not, the foot of these specimens are also usable in gastronomy. Because of how quickly it degrades, it is not a mushroom that is marketed. If so, there would surely be a lot to be gained as it tastes good.

To be able to enjoy it without degrading it in just a few hours after its collection, we must consume them when before. That is, we can have a picnic prepared with all the food almost served. As soon as we collect the Coprinus comatus, we must clean it to remove any non-recommended substances from the soil and prepare them directly. You can make numerous recipes with it. However, if we want to take it home, even if we put it in the fridge, it probably won’t last a day before it turns into ink.

This is due to its high water content and its texture is very fragile. If you are not continually feeding on food from the ground, you will not be able to endure.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about Coprinus comatus and taste its delicious flavor.

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