Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Good Word About Wood-Ears

Oops!  I forgot to include this photo with my post about today's walk.  This cluster of rubbery brown shiny things is the Tree-Ear fungus, also called Wood-Ear (Auriculariaceae auricula).  It's kind of obvious, isn't it, how it got its name.  Although they've been frozen all winter, these  Tree-Ears were as soft and jelly-like today as they were when they first emerged last fall.  I could have brought them home and cooked them up for supper.

My Audubon mushroom guide informs me that lovers of Chinese food have probably eaten their cousin, the closely related Mo-Ehr (A. polytricha), which is widely cultivated and sold at Chinese markets.  Some studies have shown that this fungus can affect blood coagulation and is possibly a factor in the low incidence of coronary artery disease in China.

Darn!  I knew I should have cooked them for supper.

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