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Puffball Mushroom

Puffball Mushroom

 

 

 

Unlike most other groups, puffballs contain their spores inside, so they’re somewhat rounded.  When mature, any pressure from outside, such as a raindrop or a kick from a child’s shoe, ejects the spores in a cloud of dust. Immature puffballs are roughly globular, and white and soft inside, like cream cheese (or, if you’re a vegetarian, like tofu). They are ideal for beginning mushroomers because there are no poisonous species, and they’re easy to tell apart from other groups if you pay attention.  If a Puffball Mushroom has no stalk or “legs,” and is pure white, soft, and undifferentiated (no separate parts) inside, then it’s in an immature state, and it’s a choice edible mushroom. Puffballs beginning to turn yellow inside or are already forming powdery spores are too late to eat. They have a rich, penetrating, earthy flavor. These gourmet mushrooms won’t get lost in a recipe, even when there are lots of other ingredients or strong seasonings. They can stand up to virtually every form of cooking. You can sauté them, simmer them in soups, cook them with grains, and even bread and bake them in a casserole if they’re large enough.