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National Mushroom Hunting Day – May 17, 2023

National Mushroom Hunting Day is an annual holiday that falls on May 17, created in 2014 by a mushroom lover, Jace Shoemaker-Galloway. If you’re going on the hunt, you need to know how to identify which mushrooms are edible. You probably don’t want to go mushroom hunting hastily and end up eating the poisonous ones. Mycologists and mushroom hunters commonly use the spore print technique to differentiate between similar-looking species. So, educate yourself before you go on the mushroom hunt.

History of National Mushroom Hunting Day

Mushroom hunting is the activity of harvesting mushrooms in the woods or forests, usually for culinary purposes. It’s also called mushrooming, mushroom picking, or mushroom foraging. Mushroom hunting can be fulfilling yet dangerous because some edible mushrooms have poisonous lookalikes. Generally, field guides can help to distinguish between edible and poisonous ones. Besides, there is a mushroom identification technique called a spore print. It’s commonly used by mycologists and mushroom hunters to identify the genus of a specimen and differentiate between similar-looking species.

Numerous edible mushroom species can be found in the wild, including button mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, chanterelles, morels, shiitake mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms. Button mushroom and porcini are native to Europe and North America, while chanterelles and morels can also be found in North America. Shiitake is native to East Asia and is considered a medicinal mushroom. Last but not least, the oyster mushroom was first cultivated in Germany, and it is now grown commercially worldwide.

Several commonly misidentified mushrooms in the wild include chanterelles and morels. Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, known as false chanterelles, can look like edible chanterelles (Cantharellus). False chanterelles, with sharp gills appearance, are considered edible but the taste is unpleasant. In the case of morels, false morels, such as Gyromitra, look like true morels. Gyromitra species usually have a brain-like appearance, rather than the honeycomb appearance of true morels. Gyromitra are highly poisonous when raw due to their gyromitrin, but some species are edible when cooked.

National Mushroom Hunting Day timeline

715 — 810 Million Years Ago
Mushroom Evolution

The first mushrooms evolve on earth.

12th Century
Cultivation of Shiitake

Mushrooms, particularly shiitake, are first cultivated by Wu San Kwung.

1700s
Button Mushrooms

Button mushrooms are first cultivated in France.

2014
National Mushroom Hunting Day

National Mushroom Hunting Day is created by Jace Shoemaker-Galloway.

National Mushroom Hunting Day FAQs

What month is best for mushroom hunting?

Most mushroom species come out in autumn around the end of September and continue to late November.

What is the best time of day to hunt morels?

Morels are said to be growing best in spring, from mid-April to late May, when the daytime temperatures reach around 60 to 65 degrees.

What happens if you eat a death cap mushroom?

You will have severe vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that comes on about six to 24 hours after ingestion of the death cap mushroom.

National Mushroom Hunting Day Activities

  1. Educate yourself

    It’s essential to educate yourself before you go on the mushroom hunt. At least you must know how to differentiate between edible mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms.

  2. Spread the word

    Tell your friends about the day. Who knows, one or two of them will join you. And maybe they know more about mushrooms so it will be easier for the edible mushroom hunt.

  3. Buy mushrooms

    If you don’t partake in the mushrooming, you can still hunt for them at the market. Well, it won’t be as breathtaking, but it’s okay.

5 Facts About Mushrooms You Need To Know

  1. It’s neither plant nor animal

    Mushrooms belong to the kingdom of fungi, and they are more closely related to animals and humans than to plants.

  2. They can produce vitamin D

    Most edible mushrooms produce significant amounts of vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light.

  3. Magic mushrooms are the safest

    Magic mushrooms are said to be the safest recreational drugs.

  4. There’s a mushroom that tastes like chicken

    Laetiporus sulphureus, chicken of the woods, is often described as tasting like chicken meat.

  5. It has the fifth primary taste

    Mushroom is one of the foods that have the fifth primary taste called umami.

Why We Love National Mushroom Hunting Day

  1. It’s fun

    Mushroom hunting can be fun and also challenging. We don’t know what we’ll encounter along the way. Besides, spending time in nature is out of this world.

  2. Mushrooms are tasty

    Who doesn’t like mushroom dishes? Sautéed mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, mushroom gravy, yum.

  3. It’s a new adventure

    National Mushroom Hunting Day can be a starter for some of us who have never gone on mushroom hunting. Not only will it be a new experience, but it will also be satisfying when we get our first mushroom in the wild.

National Mushroom Hunting Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 17Wednesday
2024May 17Friday
2025May 17Saturday
2026May 17Sunday
2027May 17Monday

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