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Common Name(s): puffball, Puffballs
nell67 25 Nov, 2008
Description: Depending on their size, puffballs have been mistaken at a distance for everything from golf balls to sheep.
These round or pear-shaped mushrooms are almost always whitish, tan or gray and may or may not have a stalk-like base. The interior of a puffball is solid white at first, gradually turning yellow, then brown as the mushroom ages. Finally, the interior changes to a mass of dark, powdery spores, Size: 1" to 12" in diameter, sometimes larger.
When and Where: Late summer and fall; in lawns, open woods, pastures, barren areas. On soil or decaying wood.
Cautions: Each puffball should be sliced from top to bottom and the interior examined. It should be completely white and featureless inside, like a slice of white bread. There should be no trace of yellow or brown (which will spoil the flavor) and especially no sign of a developing mushroom with a stalk, gills and cap
Amanitas, when young, can resemble small puffballs, but cutting them open will quickly resolve the question.
Cooking hint: Remove outer skin if tough,then slice ,bread and fry.
Current Rating: 0.5000
Peacemaker 19 Oct, 2009
There are several species of Lycoperdon. I have eaten these puff ball types many times with no ill effect. The large white ones are the best. Watch for discoloration or dark powdery insides. The lycoperdon marginatum are much smaller and have a warty surface with numerous triangular bumps all across the surface. I have eaten these as well but they are not as good, not as big and one source I read said they caused "auditory hallucinations" I had eaten them for years without ever "hearing things" but with mushrooms, a person's system can become sensitized and more importantly, the toxins often have no symptoms and are passed without notice through the normal process of digestion/metabolism. But...like with the ones people mistakenly call "beefstakes" the cumulative effect of eating faster than you can process the chemical toxins will cause...DEATH. Sometimes just from inhaling the fumes as they are boiled. Mushrooms are very dangerous and if you do not know them EXTREMELY well...STAY AWAY from them. They must be treated with respect and perfectly identified, no margin for error, each time.