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Beefsteak mushroom Beefsteak

Beefsteak ( Fistulina hepatica)

Habitat:

Grows on Oak or Chestnut trees, either low on the trunk, near the gound, or very high up.

In England at a place called Norfolk near Holt, there is an Oak tree that is reputed to be over 900 years old, which has a beefsteak mushroom growing at a height of nearly 12m. If you are in that area, it is a wonderous sight to see and well worth a visit, just to see if it is still there.

Although this fungus causes rot inside the tree it does not kill it, in fact the wood that is infected by the beefsteak, is much sort after by cabinet-makers and furniture manufactures alike.

Season:

Late Summer till Autumn.

Cooking and preparation:

Where the fungi was attatched to the trunk make sure you remove any part of the tree by cutting it well back into the beefsteak, then separate the layers and as you do so, wipe them clean. It has a slightly citrus taste, not unlike lemons or limes, so it is best cut up into steak size strips,(it actually seems to bleed like meat when cut) to either soak them in milk for an hour (depending on the size) or fried in the milk, while adding some sliced onions, garlic and fresh basil. Excellent on a charcoal grill or barbecue, also adds extra flavour to a stew or soup.

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