Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Edible Wild Plants/Sulphur shelf

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Sulphur Shelf


Description: Sulphur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus) is also known as the chicken of the woods, the chicken mushroom, and the chicken fungus. It is, as one might expect, an edible mushroom with a taste quite similar to lemony chicken. Individual "shelves" range from 2-10 inches across. These shelves are made up of many tiny tubular filaments (hyphae). The mushroom grows in large brackets - some have been found that weigh over 100 pounds (45 kg). It is most commonly found on wounds of trees, mostly oak, though it is also frequently found on yew, cherry wood, sweet chestnut, and willow. Though it does grow off of a living tree, sulphur shelf is not a parasite, though it may cause decay. Young mushrooms are characterized by a moist, rubbery, sulphur-yellow body with bright orange tips. Older mushrooms become pale and brittle, pungent, and are often dotted with termite holes.

Where found: Throughout most of the world

Availability: Late Summer to Fall

Use: Slice thinly and add to stews or simmer for 30 minutes.

WARNING: About half of the population has an allergic reaction to this type of mushroom, with cases being more pronounced in older mushrooms. Due to all of these factors, the mushroom should generally only be eaten when young, and one should always only try a small amount the first time.
Sulphur shelf fungus.jpg