General Discussion:

puff balls are they safe to eat?

Messages posted to thread:

Carol08-Aug-05 06:30 PM EST 5a   
Patricia08-Aug-05 07:36 PM EST 5   
janine09-Aug-05 09:41 AM EST 2b   
Nancy09-Aug-05 01:34 PM EST 5   
Carol09-Aug-05 09:36 PM EST 5a   

Subject: puff balls are they safe to eat?
From: Carol
Zone: 5a
Date: 08-Aug-05 06:30 PM EST

Hi everyone, I have found some puff balls growing near by, I vaguely remember my parents bringing home puff balls cooking and eating them. Now I was very young and I want to make sure I'm not eating something poisinous, does anyone know about puff balls? Thanks Carol

Subject: RE: puff balls are they safe to eat?
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 08-Aug-05 07:36 PM EST

Personally, I have no faith whatever in being able to ID mushrooms of any kind. I buy them at the store: it's dull but much safer!

Subject: RE: puff balls are they safe to eat?
From: janine (
Zone: 2b
Date: 09-Aug-05 09:41 AM EST

I've eaten puffballs since I was a kid, but I live in Northern Alberta and don't know if the puffballs near you are the same as the ones here. I'd get a really good book on local mushrooms, and/or consult someone who knows their fungus. Are you close to a University? If so call and see if there is a botany professor who specializes in Mycology who can help you. Also, the puffballs we eat out here have to be harvested as soon as they appear. They start to get mushy and wormy soon after they emerge. It's worth the effort, fried with butter then drenched with whipping cream they are heaven (or something more sinful) in a pan.

Subject: RE: puff balls are they safe to eat?
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 09-Aug-05 01:34 PM EST

Puffballs are theoretically safe to eat, but be careful. Button-sized young amanitas, which are deadly poisonous, can be confused with smaller puffballs. Make sure you cut them in half vertically and confirm that there's no developing stalk.

The giant puffballs, however, are hard to confuse with anything else. Just make sure that you get them very early. I've eaten a few that grow on my property and have found that they get very quickly inhabited with very small worms that aren't immediately obvious when first sliced up. The last time I was going to cook some, I left the sliced mushrooms on the counter for an hour or so, only to notice tiny critters emerging as I was about to toss them in the skillet. That's put me off eating them for some time now.

Subject: RE: puff balls are they safe to eat?
From: Carol
Zone: 5a
Date: 09-Aug-05 09:36 PM EST

Thanks everyone, I looked them up as well, and it seems that the giant ones are unique, and safe as long as they are all white. They are only good for a day or two, once harvested too, thats why there is no commercial value to them. Carol

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