Sheep Polypore

28 Oct

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Albatrellus ovinus is a mushroom I only started eating in recent years as finding good information on it wasn’t easy, this is a mushroom which may not agree with everyone who eats it, so sample a small quantity your first time if you decide to try it. There is very little North American info on how to prepare this mushroom and the N A recipes I’ve tried in the last few days which recommended pan frying a mix of onions and spices with Sheep Polypore tasted fine only I couldn’t taste any Sheep Polypore which previously I found tasted quite good just fried in oil & butter till it is crispy. I should mention once again that Albatrellus ovinus turns yellow while cooking and the similar Albatrellus confluens doesn’t yellow though it will turn peach, both mushrooms are edible and look alike. To add a little more confusion there is also another very rare family member Albatrellus subrubescens which is similar looking and it probably should cause temporary stomach problems though I can’t find any info on what color it turns when cooked, in the few spots it has been found in Canada it appears to have some black-grey to purple-grey cap fibrils so something to keep in mind, I can’t find any records of it being found in the Maritimes but this area’s rarer species are not well known at this time, so it could easily be here in small numbers.

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Back to the (not for the novice mushroom forager), Sheep Polypore, I did find one recipe from Finland where the flavour of the mushroom still shone through, there they remove the stem of the mushroom, trim the cap into a patty shape and then cook this in a light breadcrumb batter till well done, they refer to this as a Sheep Steaks. Here in the Maritime Provinces Sheep Polypore can grow in large numbers in a variety of mixed woods so this is one of only a few good edible mushrooms still available on these near freezing days.

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If you’re still interested in this mushroom as an edible or just in knowing something new that lives close to you here are a few of the European names you may want to do a little internet research on.
Swedish: fårticka—Czech: krásnoporka mlynárka— Finnish: lampaankääpä—German: schafporling—- Norse: fåresopp

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Sheep Polypore is a commercially gathered mushroom in a few northern and also mountainous areas in the world. Here in the Maritimes it may become another nourishing food to be aware of and another good reason to be conscious of what’s going on in our forest. Locally our nature needs our awareness now. ciao

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