Life awaits beyond the beaten path
Note: Wide ranging genus, but more common in the Eastern US
Fistulinaceae– Beefsteak family
This mushroom looks and tastes remarkably like beefsteak. Like a steak, it is pink inside, gelatinous and marbled in appearance. When it's young, it even bleeds a reddish juice when you cut it. As it ages, the color fades to reddish-brown, and the flesh dries out.
Typically erect, although sometimes trailing 3 - 4 feet tall, but can grow much taller under favorable conditions.
Can be 2"-4" long, and 3/8"-1¼" thick, very short, and blood-red.
10 - 15 mm long; free.
1 mm wide; circular; whitish to yellowish-buff, becoming reddish-brown.
4.5 - 6 x 3 - 4 µ; oval, smooth, colorless to pale yellow.
Shelf mushroom ¾" - 1½" thick.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Description:
Fleshy, somewhat gelatinous, juicy, spoon-shaped, to semicircular, flat, reddish cap with separate tubes and off-white to pinkish-yellow pores.
Cap: 3"-10" wide, while the flesh is 2-2½" thick.
Stalk: can be 2"-4" long, and 3/8"-1¼" thick, very short, and blood-red.
Spores: oval, smooth, colorless to pale yellow. Spore print pinkish-salmon.
On dead oak trunks and stumps, or at base of living oaks.
Entire young mushroom.
Wild Food Uses:
The tender young flesh is wonderful sautéed in butter. I reserve the older specimens for soups and stews. As the name would imply, this mushroom has been used as a meat substitute. While I have used it in stews to 'extend' the meat I had, on its own I find it to be a poor substitute for meat.
The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.