The cheez doodle mushroom
Mushrooms are forgotten elements in gardens. Their edibility and beauty indeed enhance the experience, and their seasonal appearance is similar to that of a precious flower. Some want to grow lilacs all year round, but eating your favourite dish every day will no longer satisfy you. It is better to have a long menu of favourite dishes and feel daily euphoria of different reasons. At Dokmai Garden we are blessed with around 1300 different plants, reptiles, birds, butterflies, fish and mushrooms, and still rapidly counting.
Today’s treat is dubbed ‘the cheez doodle mushroom’ (Agaricus trisulphuratus syn. Cystoagaricus trisulphuratus) in English, not because of its culinary value, but due to its ornamental value:
When I saw it I immediately thought of cheez doodles, but during the photography session it reminded me of some elaborate Jim Thompson fashion: orange and dark graphite grey. They grow nearby our pig pen on bare soil.
It is a relative of the common white button (Agaricus bisporus) which so many Anglosaxons eat for breakfast. Whether the cheez doodle mushroom is edible or not is unknown. It may resemble a Pholiota mushroom, but they grow on wood and they never get these dark brownish-grey gills. I ask our worldwide readers to kindly report if you have seen it, since I have an incomplete view of its worldwide range.
In many Anglosaxon societies mushrooms are traditionally considered manifestations of the poisonous and evil liquids from the underworld. Two generations ago Swedes used to be mycophobic too, treating mushrooms as ‘food for swine’ or the ‘creations from the bloody froth of Sleipner’ (Odin’s horse). Luckily, Swedish society developed and according to some studies about 40% of the modern Swedes pick wild mushrooms at least once a year. Thai cultures are more advanced in this respect, resembling French and Italian traditions dating back to the Romans and their culinary excellence. Ketsanee has told me fantastic stories about how she and the elders would go to the forests and pick mushrooms, and how to cook them and how to treat poisonings.
If you wish to read more about Thai mushrooms simply enter the search phrase ‘mushroom‘ in the search window to your right. Bear in mind that WordPress lists Dokmai Dogma blogs with the search word in the title first, so that 2012 blogs such as ‘Trick or treat’ where I describe parasol mushrooms will be found after the 2010 publications with the word ‘mushroom’ in the blog title. The WordPress link ‘Older entries’ is therefore not a correct term, should be ‘More entries’.
Text & Photo: Eric Danell (Precipitation report: yesterday we received 8 mm of rain just in time for our guests from Jakarta to finish the tour at 5 p.m.).