Mushrooms and Toadstools: Delicacy or Death?

Are you eating mushrooms on your pizzas and are loving the flavour they give? Then probably you might have thought of adding these mushrooms in separate recipies. As a nature lover,I love going into the forest and picking my own. Mushrooms are a healthy addition to your diet, and they can give many health benefits. You need to add a good proportion of this tasty addition from nature into your diet, and you will start seeing health benefits. But you should also know that mushrooms can even be fatal and have poison in them. To start eating mushrooms, you should be able to identify which ones are healthy and which ones are toxic. Edible mushrooms are full of vitamins, minerals, and many nutrients. 

You might have heard every other person saying that you must never eat mushrooms without knowing for sure if they are edible or not inedible. Mushrooms seem like a plant, but they are not plants. In fact, they are genetically closer to animals. It’s a fungus and is a fruiting part of a hidden organism called mycelium. It is a web-like structure that grows underground or inside the pores of decaying wood, and they can grow very large.

There are certain ways to identify the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool. Many people state several visible differences between the two, and you can find them out as well. The following are some easily recognizable differences between the two. But scientifically, the toadstool and the mushrooms are not different, and there is no way to say that both are distinct types of fungi. We can only identify the two forms of their physical appearance. 

Whites, crimini, enokis, and portabellas can be eaten crude with dunks or in servings of mixed greens. You might need to eliminate the stems from criminis and portabellas as they can, at times, be difficult to bite. You should likewise manage the base of the enokis, and give all mushrooms a brisk wash in cool water before use. 

The definition of the two given in the Oxford Dictionary is as follows:

Toadstool: The spore-bearing fruiting body of fungi, typically in the form of a rounded cap on a stalk, especially the one that is known to be harmful or inedible for the human body. 

Mushroom: A fungal growth that mostly takes the form of a domed cap on a stalk, with gills on the underside of the cap. 

How to differentiate the two?

All fungi that look toxic aren’t always toxic, and most of the time, the ones we think are edible might be harmful. 

Young amanita mushrooms can look like puffballs or like button mushrooms even when they are growing. Other things you need to take count of while picking mushrooms is to look at their color, shape, size, stem color, and also if it has a ring or volva if it has warts, and what it smells like. These features will help you see if it is edible or not. But any attempts in trying or tasting a mushroom if you are not knowledgeable enough to find the difference between the two is not recommended. The season, habitat, and the growth medium of the mushrooms will also reveal if they are edible or not. 

Porcini, wine caps, and morels are unique looking and colorful mushrooms that look like toxic, but they are edible. In fact, these are some of the tastiest mushrooms out there. 

Features of both:

The cap of mushrooms can be peeled, and they normally grow on wood while toadstools have white gills, a skirt, or a ring on the step. Toadstools also have a bulbous or sack-like base, and their cap or stem can be in red shade. Examples of mushrooms are white button mushrooms, while of toadstool is Amanita Muscaria.

Mushrooms are a type of fungal growth with a form of a domed cap over the stalk. They also have gills on the underside of the cap that produce spores. Mostly mushrooms are not poisonous and are edible. But toadstools are a type of mushrooms that are poisoned. Hence the main distinction of both is that one contains poison, and the other doesn’t. But you must be literate enough to know the difference between both if you find mushrooms somewhere and think of adding them in your diet. Store-bought mushrooms always have a sign on them, and hence you are mostly safe on that end. But if you find wild mushrooms, then you should be able to tell the difference between the two before eating them. 

About the author: NORMAND SAVOIE

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