7 Common Mushrooms Found In New Hampshire

As you stroll through the lush forests and wooded trails of New Hampshire, you may come across a variety of fascinating fungi, each with their own unique characteristics and flavors.

From the delicate and earthy Chanterelle Mushroom to the meaty and robust Chicken of the Woods Mushroom, these edible treasures are a natural wonder worth exploring.

Key Takeaways

  • New Hampshire is home to a variety of delicious and sought-after mushrooms, including the chanterelle, chicken of the woods, morel, black trumpet, hen of the woods, and oyster mushrooms.
  • These mushrooms can be found growing on the forest floor, near the roots of trees, and on dead or dying trees.
  • They each have unique flavors and textures, and are often prized by foragers and foodies alike.
  • Some of these mushrooms, like the hen of the woods, may even have potential health benefits, such as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chanterelle Mushroom

Oh, you’re looking for the Chanterelle mushroom? Well, ain’t that just the fanciest fungus in all of New Hampshire.

These beautiful mushrooms are prized for their delicate flavor and texture, and are a favorite of chefs and foragers alike. But how do you identify them in the wild?

The Chanterelle mushroom is easy to recognize by its distinctive funnel shape, with a cap that is usually a bright golden yellow color. The cap is smooth and can be up to six inches wide, while the stem is usually a pale yellow color and can be up to four inches long. The underside of the cap has ridges that are not quite gills, but look more like veins.

When you find a patch of Chanterelles, you’ll often find them growing in clusters on the forest floor, near the roots of trees. And once you’ve found them, you’ll want to know how to cook with them.

Morel Mushroom

Indulge in the earthy flavor of the elusive morel mushroom, a delicacy that can only be found in certain regions of the United States. New Hampshire is one of the states where you can find this prized fungi.

The morel mushroom is a cone-shaped mushroom with a honeycomb-like cap that ranges in color from light tan to dark brown. It grows in the spring, usually under trees, and can be difficult to spot due to its camouflaged appearance.

Harvesting tips for the morel mushroom include using a mesh bag to collect them, as this allows the spores to fall back onto the forest floor and promote future growth.

When preparing the morel mushroom for culinary uses, it’s important to clean them thoroughly, as they can be filled with dirt and insects.

The morel mushroom is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen and can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, sauces, and pastas. Its unique texture and flavor make it a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts alike.

Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

You may have stumbled upon the chicken of the woods mushroom while exploring the forests of the Northeast, and let me tell you, it’s a delicious find.

This mushroom, scientifically known as Laetiporus sulphureus, is a vibrant orange color with a velvety texture. It grows in clusters on dead or dying trees, particularly oak and chestnut.

When it comes to identifying the chicken of the woods mushroom, there are a few key things to look for. First, as mentioned, it has a bright orange color with a velvety texture.

Second, it grows in clusters, often forming large, fan-shaped masses on the tree. Finally, it has a distinctive smell, similar to that of chicken or seafood.

As for edible uses, the chicken of the woods mushroom is prized for its meaty texture and savory flavor. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to stir-fries and tacos.

Just be sure to cook it thoroughly, as it can cause gastrointestinal issues if eaten raw.

Black Trumpet Mushroom

If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful mushroom to add to your cooking repertoire, the black trumpet mushroom is definitely worth checking out. This mushroom is small, funnel-shaped, and ranges in color from dark brown to black.

Black trumpet mushrooms are highly revered in the culinary world for their smoky, earthy flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

When it comes to harvesting black trumpet mushrooms, it’s important to note that they grow in clusters on the forest floor. Look for them near hardwood trees like oak, beech, and maple.

These mushrooms are typically found from late summer to early winter, and it’s best to pick them when they are young and firm.

To prepare them for cooking, simply brush off any dirt or debris and rinse them briefly in cold water. Black trumpet mushrooms are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, sauces, and even as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.

Hen of the Woods Mushroom

The Hen of the Woods mushroom, also known as maitake, is a sought-after delicacy in Japanese cuisine, and it has been found to have potential health benefits such as boosting the immune system.

This mushroom is known for its large size and distinctive shape, with its frilly, fan-shaped caps growing in clusters at the base of trees.

The Hen of the Woods mushroom has a rich, earthy flavor and a meaty texture, making it a popular ingredient in soups, stews, and stir-fries.

When it comes to health benefits, the Hen of the Woods mushroom has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties.

Research has shown that the mushroom contains beta-glucans, which are complex sugars that can stimulate the immune system and help the body fight off cancer cells.

Additionally, the Hen of the Woods mushroom has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

With its culinary uses and potential health benefits, the Hen of the Woods mushroom is a versatile and valuable addition to any diet.

Oyster Mushroom

Get ready to add some delicious oyster mushrooms to your next meal because these flavorful fungi have a lot to offer in terms of taste and potential health benefits.

Oyster mushrooms are a popular edible mushroom that can be easily grown at home using a variety of techniques. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a tender texture that makes them a versatile ingredient in many dishes.

When it comes to growing techniques, oyster mushrooms are relatively easy to cultivate. They can be grown on a variety of substrates, including straw, sawdust, and coffee grounds.

Oyster mushrooms are also known for their fast growth rate, which means that they can be harvested in as little as two weeks after inoculation.

Jack-O’-Lantern Mushroom (Poisonous)

Now that you’re familiar with the delicious and edible Oyster mushroom, let’s discuss a much less desirable fungi that’s commonly found in New Hampshire: the Jack-O’-Lantern mushroom.

This bright orange mushroom may be attractive to the eye, but it’s important to know that it’s highly poisonous and should never be consumed.

Identifying the Jack-O’-Lantern mushroom is relatively easy. It’s often mistaken for the chanterelle mushroom due to its bright color and gilled underside, but the Jack-O’-Lantern has a distinct unpleasant odor and a flat cap compared to the chanterelle’s wavy cap.

It’s important to avoid picking this mushroom altogether, as even the slightest ingestion of it can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, hallucinations, and even death.

If you come across this mushroom, it’s best to leave it alone and not risk any potential harm.

Brian Koller

Growing up on a farm in eastern PA, I’ve grown fond of wildlife and the woods and learning about the critters and firewood and everything else in-between. I made this site to share my experiences and knowledge.

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