Fall and Winter is mushroom picking season in Blue Ridge! If you are vacationing here, you can pick mushrooms in the protected forests surrounding Blue Ridge. Mushroom picking is fun, and the mushrooms themselves taste great to boot. However, if you have never been mushroom picking before, do some research to make certain that you only pick edible mushrooms. Listed below are some brief tips to get you started.
Before You Go
Get a mushroom identification book to learn about the popular varieties available. Another information resource is your local adult education center. It may have mushroom identification tip handouts and may offer expert-led mushroom hunting excursions.
- A mushroom identification book to ensure you gather only edible mushrooms. Keep it with you while you hunt mushrooms.
- A magnifying glass so you can verify the variety you find
- A basket to hold your harvest
- A knife to cut the mushrooms
Most Popular Mushroom Varieties
The most popular mushrooms available in North Georgia are
- Cep or porcini (Boletus edulis) has firm flesh and a 5-25 cm smooth cap colored light brown to chestnut brown. When the plant is young, the tubes are a white color and they change to yellow-green as they age. They have a club-shaped stalk with white reticulation---capillary appearing lines. They grow in a coniferous forest beneath spruce trees from September through November (until the first frost).
- Bay bolete (Boletus badius or Xerocomus badius) cap is bay to chestnut in color. The cap is spherical when young and broadens up to 15 cm in diameter at maturity. The stem is cylindrical, 4-9 cm long and the same color as the cap. Yellow pores are on the underside of the cap. It thrives in mixed or coniferous woods growing on the ground or decayed trees. Never eat the bay bolete raw!
- Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), often called golden chanterelles, are yellow (egg yolk--light yellow). Caps are domed, up to 10--15 cm in diameter with edges that curl upward underneath the cap. Gills run down the stalk's length. Chanterelles smell like apricots. Chanterelles have a poisonous look-alike---- false chanterelle.
- Never taste a mushroom you cannot identify.
- Avoid old, very small, or mushrooms that are damaged in any way.
- To avoid spoilage, eat mushrooms on the day they are picked.
- Do not eat raw mushrooms.
- Go with an experienced picker, if possible.
If you have any questions or would like some more family-friendly, fun adventure ideas near your North Georgia cabin rentals, give us a call today and speak with one of our passionate staff members.