Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus): A very attractive but also edible fungus growing on wood

Meripilus giganteus

It may not seem that way, but the mushroom season is now in a full swing and if you look hard enough you can still find many great mushrooms. Well, these interesting mushrooms that we are going to talk about, are usually neglected by many people. A typical example is the giant polypore. This very interesting and unique mushroom has many uses in the kitchen. We shall take a closer look at its appearance, where you should look for it and also how this unique fungus is cooked.

You will Find the Appearance Interesting and Amusing

And no wonder! Imagine that the entire group of this mushroom can easily reach 1 meter in diameter and the weight of the entire group may be in the order of tens of kilograms! The mushroom ripens within a month and then gradually turns black. You may still find pieces of it long after it has stopped growing. The pileus is usually around 10 to 20 cm wide. When still young, the fungus is typical for its “golf-club” shape. It has a beautiful golden brown surface with typical stripes. The flesh is pure white, especially when young, and when cut, it quickly turns black. It has a very pleasant and natural smell and the taste is slightly sour.

Meripilus giganteus

Photo: Pixabay 

Where and When You Can Find it

You can find this mushroom growing in woods from July to the end of September. Most often it grows on trunks or stumps of deciduous trees such as old beeches, oaks, lindens and others. Rarely, you may find it growing on pine trees. It is rather hard to confuse this mushroom with others, but Ram’s Head (Grifola frondosa) is somewhat similar in appearance.

Pick Only Young Mushrooms

Yup. Older mushrooms are virtually unusable so make sure to select the youngest mushrooms only and cook or process them immediately after picking. There are many ways how you can prepare it. This mushroom is often overlooked due to the fact that many other and more popular mushrooms are growing at the same time, but that certainly does not mean that this mushroom is not worth of our attention.

Photo: Pixabay 

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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