Mushrooms are fun guys!

Delicate and ephemeral, these fruiting bodies are beautiful. They are also emerging as a big favourite in urban kitchens, though not all may be fit to partake of. Our nature columnist sends photos of the different types of mushrooms and fungi one can see around us, in the monsoon season.

A Mushroom… (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. In this post, I’d like to share the variety of mushrooms I’ve been seeing in the monsoon season, in and around the city!

IMG_7995

 

vndna mshrm 231115

Pic: Vandana Murthy

The terms “mushroom” and “toadstool” go back centuries and were never precisely defined, nor was there consensus on application. Between 1400 and 1600 AD, the terms mushrom, mushrum, muscheron, mousheroms, mussheron, or musserouns were used.

Puffball Mushroom

IMG_0404

Black Puffball
IMG_5006

Many species of mushrooms seemingly appear overnight, growing or expanding rapidly. This phenomenon is the source of several common expressions in the English language, including “to mushroom” or “mushrooming” (expanding rapidly in size or scope) and “to pop up like a mushroom” (to appear unexpectedly and quickly). In reality all species of mushrooms take several days to form

Saucer Mushrooms

IMG_5970

Greenish mushrooms

IMG_7995

Delicate mushroom

IMG_8094

IMG_1346

Mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (notably Chinese, Korean, European, and Japanese). Though neither meat nor vegetable, mushrooms are known as the “meat” of the vegetable world.

A word of caution, however. Generally, and particularly with gilled mushrooms, separating edible from poisonous species requires meticulous attention to detail; there is no single trait by which all toxic mushrooms can be identified, nor one by which all edible mushrooms can be identified. Additionally, even edible mushrooms may produce allergic reactions in susceptible individuals, from a mild asthmatic response to severe anaphylactic shock.

Mustard-colored mushrooms

IMG_9187

Scalloped edges

IMG_0125

In German folklore and old fairy tales, toads are often depicted sitting on toadstool mushrooms and catching flies with their tongues.

Now, here’s mushroom that reminded me of the human brain:

IMG_8193

Bright orange mushroom

IMG_1337

 

Rose-shaped Mushrooms

IMG_3609

Hotel Oyster

IMG_4316

IMG_2371

IMG_8184

Pink beauties, flower-like

IMG_8192

IMG_8191

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Addressing pet dog attacks: A balance between regulation and compassion

Government intervention is necessary to prevent indiscriminate breeding and trade of pet dogs, and more shelters are needed for abandoned pets.

Recently, two pet Rottweiler dogs attacked a five-year-old child and her mother in a  Corporation park in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Based on a complaint following the incident, police arrested the owners of the dog for negligence and endangering the lives of others (IPC Section 289 and 336). As General Manager-Administration of the Blue Cross of India, I have seen several Rottweilers over the years. While there are laws to address such situations, there needs to be adequate awareness among pet owners that dogs like Rottweilers should be taken for a walk only on a leash. A major portion of the responsibility…

Similar Story

Bardhaman town’s tourism potential: Why it must be developed

West Bengal's Bardhaman town has immense tourism potential. Its development must prioritise sustainable tourism and civic development.

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…