Tag Archives: Catathelasma ventricosum

A litter of Cats

18 Oct


Only found one small area of Catathelasma ventricosum today which was more than OK as I was on another mission, but with bright caps up to 20 cm across these mushrooms certainly stand out from a distance as you may notice above.



This was an unexpected find of Cats which will send me asap to some of my more familiar haunts of this large fall mushroom which I had already given up on this year as only a few appeared several weeks ago.


Although I usually dry most of what I gather of this mushroom, this has been the year of the pickle for me and these mushroom should be excellent for that process.



Swollen-stalked Cat

2 Oct


Usually find just one collection with enough Catathelasma ventricosum for a good basket full these last few years and tonight’s gatherings maybe the best of the lot as these are very freshly emerged mushrooms with only a few breaking their cap veils.


This mushroom is not very common in most parts of North America and gets very little press as a good edible here though the folks from the Tibet homelands and other mountainous areas of Asia would know this mushroom very well, both as an ancient medicinal and welcomed food especially in soups and stews.  This mushroom is commercially harvested and froze or dried for export from Yunnan province China. good chance you may have already eaten some of these along your path unknowingly.  ciao

Foggy foraging

1 Sep


This is my favorite forest for tree burls with several hundred mature conifers with impressive burls, on this foggy holiday some like this one provide quite an atmosphere to wander amongst.


Since I’ve never gathered the White Matsutake mushroom this early in Sept or in this area this leaves me to suspect this must be my first sighting of a Catathelasma ventricosum mushroom this year.


Yup, this is what we call in NA the Swollen Stalked Cat which is a good edible and is becoming more popular here in the west, though it has a long history of being used as a healthy food in areas like Tibet. Here it is often used in stews, soups, it can also be BBQ’ed and pickled. This one smells like cucumber.


Oh, nearing a brook I see a shrub I often forget about in the fog of the busy mushroom season, though this is an ideal time to gather the ripe firm fruit of Highbush cranberries which can be frozen and then thawed to make it easier to obtain the juice by pressing raw. I chewed and sucked on a few of the crunchy berries and then removed the large seed from my mouth, these are tart and refreshing and vitamin C rich. Well I’ve shared enough interesting stuff for today. ciao

Mushrooms, Today’s frosty 5

19 Oct


As usual things did not turn out as planned and the mushroom I was most interested in finding is not out yet as it will probably take a few more rains and frosty nights. Nevertheless here are a few good wild edibles which were making an appearance today. In the photo there are over a hundred Grayling mushrooms from the bottom of the photo to the basket, sometimes things are hard to see even when they are right under your feet..


Grayling, Cantharellula umbonata


Catathelasma ventricosum


Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda


Meadow waxycap, Hygrocybe pratensis



Lactarius deterrimus


Click above If you are interested in interbeing, here is a peek at some current events taking place in New Brunswick at this time. ciao

Trees, fruits and mushrooms

31 Aug


This Fir is quite burlumpuous.


Young Chaga mushrooms on mature birch trees.


Eastern white pine with developing cone. (click on to notice the resin on the cone)


Heavily fruiting Hawthorn.


Closer look at the fruit.


Hobblebush with unripe fruit


Here we see lots of red and a few ripe black Hobblebush berries.


Catathelasma ventricosum mushroom in button stage.


Here we have mature, button and young all growing within a few feet of each other. These are the first ones I seen this year and this usually indicates its look-alike White Matsutake will be appearing in a few weeks, rain permitting.


Xerula furfuracea, this one was growing out of a beech tree stump which is the norm for this mushroom. We see around a foot of stem yet I was unable to get the whole thing as it snapped of at some point which helps in the identification as the breaking of the stem has a real green bean snap sound which is unusual in mushrooms.


A few fresh Chanterelle. ciao

Cat purring in the pines

11 Oct

Peeling and preparing a few mushrooms for the drier and thought it may be fun to show you how much Catathelasma ventricosum (swollen stalk cat) and White matsutake (pine mushroom) look-alike.  Check out the 5 mushrooms to the left of the bowl.

So here is a the close up, click on to see better——a sniff test would make it to easy,—– which mushroom of these 5 is the Cat?

Catathelasma ventricosum

7 Oct

Here is another great edible mushroom I gathered yesterday. Catathelasma ventricosum is often in Atlantic Canada mistaken for the white matsutake as there are some similarities except the big difference is the clean complex smoky, spicy aroma of white matsutake vs the fresh somewhat cucumbery odor of Catathelasma ventricosum. Both are great edible mushrooms in their own right. Catathelasma ventricosum is common on the east coast from new england north, but it is known to appear in Colorado and Califorina and it is a commonly gathered mushroom in Asia as well.

Catathelasma ventricosum is very firm fleshed  mushroom and is a good addition to the stew pot, they hold their shape well when fried and look great on the plate. They are firm and chewy so sometimes I cut them into thin strings and cook them in soups or slow cook them in BBQ type sauces.

The  grey patterns which form on the top of the caps a day after the mushroom emerges are quite striking.

I was pleased to see a company in Quebec is now selling Catathelasma ventricosum in dried form and pickled. I’m drying a good supply myself to be mainly used for teas and flavoring rice as this mushroom is gaining popularity in N.A. as a safe medicinal mushroom.

Although everything seems to stick to the outer skin of this mushroom the skin on the stem and cap quickly peels away for easy cleaning. ciao for now