Chicken of the Woods 2022

September in Southern California brings heat waves, fires and smog. The one ray of light is the appearance of chicken of the woods mushrooms (Laetiporus gilbertsonii is the species we have here) a delicious and easy to identify fungus whose favorite host in our neighborhood is the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua).

One needs to set realistic expectations when it comes to finding edible mushrooms in our dry climate. To take a walk and simply enjoy the sight of fruiting mushrooms should be enough but, being human, FOMO and greed inevitably set in. Anything humans like to eat will be popular with all manner of non-human species. That and our dry climate make this place not exactly a Mecca for edible mushrooms.

This year a freak rain caused mold growth on the chicken of the woods that I harvested from my friend Lee’s backyard tree. There were also tiny mushrooms growing on the mushrooms (!). You have to hand it to nature to evolve a decomposing mushroom to decompose the decomposer.

Better luck next year, I suppose.

See last year’s post for more information on Laetiporus gilbertsonii.

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    • It kinda does taste like chicken and even has the same texture. And thanks for catching the typo!

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