The main characteristics of honey mushrooms

Chiodini mushrooms are edible mushrooms that belong to the Physalacriaceae family, they consist of a cap, gills and a stem. The hat of the nail is hemispherical, with a small depression in the center and can reach a diameter of about 10 cm, the color varies from honey-yellow to greenish depending on the humidity present in the soil that hosts it. The gills present in the lower part of the cap are not very dense, white when the mushrooms are just born and tending to yellowish during growth. The shank of the nail is thin and tapered, curved towards the upper end and honey-yellow in color; on the stem there is also a clearly visible ring of yellowish color and streaked in the upper part.

Collection and edible parts

The nails are a widespread species both in Europe and in North America, they grow spontaneously during the autumn season on the stumps of different trees: willows, poplars, oaks, firs and larches or on the trunks of old conifers. The honey fungus with the most delicate and delicious taste grows on the trunks of poplars and oaks. The nail grows in groups, usually composed of ten to a maximum of 40 specimens. The nails are very common in Italy, but are considered a not very valuable species, since the edible part of the hair and the upper end of the stem have a very delicate, almost imperceptible flavor. The terminal part of the stem is not edible, has a bitter taste and must be eliminated by cutting it clean before the mushroom is preserved.

How to clean and cook honey mushrooms

To clean the honey mushrooms and eliminate all toxins, after harvesting with the help of a small knife remove the lower part of the stem and remove the soil from the cap and gills. After having roughly removed the dirt residues from the nail, put them in a bowl and cover them with cold water with the addition of a spoonful of baking soda. After ten minutes, rinse the mushrooms under running water and let them dry on a cloth. The chiodini mushrooms must always be cooked before being consumed, to eliminate any toxins: bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add a tablespoon of coarse salt and the juice of half a lemon and pour the nails.

Chiodini: Store and culinary suggestions

After cooking the honey mushrooms it is possible to keep them for a long time and use them as a side dish during the winter season. To store the nails it is necessary to let them dry completely after cooking and then put them in some bags to be frozen. Alternatively, the nails can be preserved in oil or vinegar, depending on your taste. There are many recipes that use chiodini mushrooms as a basic ingredient, among these we find a timeless classic: bruschetta ai chiodini. To prepare this recipe, simply heat some bread in the microwave and fry the previously blanched nails in a pan with oil, a clove of garlic and parsley. To complete the preparation, just assemble the mushrooms to the bread and the recipe is ready.

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