Features overgrown mushrooms

Collecting edible mushrooms in the forest is an interesting and fascinating affair, especially in places where there are a lot of them. It is not always possible to collect forest gifts until they grow old. But overgrown mushrooms, which are often found next to their young relatives, are still popular among mushroom pickers.

Features overgrown mushrooms

Description of edible overgrown mushrooms

Overgrowths do not always attract attention with their appearance and taste indicators.

The honey agaric has a significant advantage - it retains useful properties for a long time. But the appearance of overgrown specimens is significantly different from young fruiting bodies:

  1. The shape of the hat changes. In autumn mushrooms, the upper part reveals a hemisphere, in summer mushrooms it becomes horizontal and even. The sizes of the caps also increase to 10-17 cm in diameter. The color darkens to brown or brown. Small scales covering the top almost completely disappear, smoothness appears, moist oilyness disappears.
  2. The honey agaric has spore plates, which become flesh-colored and white in the adult specimen pink or brown. Spores often leave their container, falling on the caps of neighboring mushrooms. A similar phenomenon resembles mold developing on the surface below the caps. To test this, simply swipe your finger over the "mold" hat and you will have disputes on your fingertip. In older representatives, spore plates begin to rot and become covered with black spots.
  3. Overgrown mushrooms rely on thick tall legs. Sometimes the lower part begins to senile, dry spots appear. The belt, typical of the young Openka, almost completely disappears. False species lack such a mark, because edible old mushrooms and inedible are easy to confuse and you need to be extremely careful.
  4. Young specimens are known for a strong pleasant smell that persists even when cooking dishes. Overgrown fruiting bodies, if they do not rot, have the same smell, but it is weaker. False mushrooms are endowed with an earthy unpleasant trail, which distinguishes them from edible relatives.

Irina Selyutina (Biologist):

Yes, some of the fans of the “silent hunt” do not pass by the agglomerates. They consider them quite worthy prey. However, before sending such a mushroom to the basket, they check its quality and if it suits them - you are welcome.

On the basis of what, overgrown mushrooms are chosen? Let's look at the selection criteria:

  1. Environmentally friendly (clean) area.
  2. Even the smallest lesions or black spots should not be on the surface of the fruiting body.
  3. Signs of worminess may not be present.

If the hats below the old mushrooms in the colony are covered with something resembling mold, you can check whether this is so, not only by removing it with your finger, but also by smelling the air near this “suspicious” hat. If you catch a pleasant mushroom aroma - everything is in order, but if you smell mildew - it is better to leave the mushroom alone. In addition, pay attention to the hymenophore of the old honey agaric - if the plates are covered with mold and even begin to turn black - we also pass by.

Overgrowths can grow in forests on clearings, stumps, old fallen large branches and elsewhere. They can be confused with inedible mushrooms. Young fruiting bodies are adjacent to old in the same territory. By the way. Overgrown representatives of the species of autumn honey agaric, lose the ability to glow the mycelium at the time of full ripening.

Taste qualities

Honey mushrooms are appreciated for their exceptional smell and the ability to collect large quantities in a short time.

Young mushrooms have a strong and elastic flesh of white color. Edible adult honey agaric loses its ability to retain juices in the fruiting body. Because often his leg dries up, the flesh becomes whitish-gray or yellowish, friable.

The taste in young and adult honey agarics is the same.

Both young and adult mushrooms taste little different. In some European countries, gourmets even prefer overgrowth - the stiffness and fibrousity of the pulp are more appealing to their tastes. When cooking do not use rotten, worms and false specimens, because they will give the dish an unpleasant odor and a bitter aftertaste.

Cooking mushrooms

Collected overgrown mushrooms are cleaned before starting any treatment. The legs are removed, the caps are checked for the presence of worms, and if they are, the fruiting bodies are discarded. With a knife or hard part of the washcloth, spore-bearing plates are removed.

The remaining high-quality fruiting bodies are soaked in cold water for 40-50 minutes. For better cleaning of mushroom caps from parasites add 2-3 tbsp. l ordinary salt. It is recommended to change the water three times to achieve maximum results.

If mushrooms go for drying, then their contact with water is minimized. Removing spore plates is done with a damp washcloth, which simultaneously removes dirt from the head. Fruit bodies are left in a sunny, ventilated place until fully cooked. Then they are ground into powder or cut into slices, added to soups and side dishes, salads, pastes and other dishes.

By the way. If the legs of honey agarics have a “decent” appearance, they can be used after cooking to separate the hats for preparing caviar or paste.

Heat treatment is carried out before cooking adult mushrooms. It is divided into 2 approaches lasting 15-20 minutes. Each time, the water in which honey mushrooms are boiled is changed to clean. After this, overgrown mushrooms are added to different dishes:

  • after a half-hour cooking, the hats are marinated with spices, served on the table as a finished dish, snack, side dish;
  • fried in sour cream, with vegetables, with potatoes, onions, served as a main dish;
  • added to soups and sauces, used as a filling for pies.


Overgrown mushrooms are used as often as young ones. The appearance of the mushrooms, the smell, the state of the pulp helps determine the degree of looseness of the fruiting body, because the issue of collection is still being decided in the forest. Old mushrooms can be dangerous if they are collected in industrial areas or along busy roads.


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