Sunday, 17 May 2015

Edible Mushrooms

1981: Chinese Edible Mushrooms
I have a number of stamps by the artist Pan Keming but this set is entirely different in style to any of the others. She is known for a simple but detailed style and I have shown her 'kites' on a previous Sunday Stamps here . I was not sure whether I liked these or not but they have grown on me as I think she was trying to capture the shady nature of their habitat in subdued colours.

All the mushrooms in the set have both culinary and medicinal uses. The stamp on the left shows the Silver Mushroom (Tremella fuciformis). It starts out as a slimy, mucous like parasitic yeast and grows as a film until it encounters its host fungi which it invades. The result is a gelatinous mushroom which is quite tasteless but used for texture in Chinese sweet desert soups and ice creams.  The Chinese call this mushroom Silver or Snow Ear but I rather like the Japanese name of White Tree Jellyfish
The fungi on the rights by contrast is quite normal and is the Bamboo Mushroom which as might be expected from its name grows in the bamboo forests of Asia after heavy rain.
The Lion's Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is often used as a replacement for pork or lamb in Chinese Vegetarian dishes and apparently tastes like lobster or shrimp. It grows on hardwood.
I am always highly suspicious of red mushrooms although I do like photographing them.  I would only be partly right with this one, the Russula rubra, which is called the sickener. Apparently it has a peppery taste but if eaten raw can make you ill hence its other names of emetic or vomiting mushroom. The cooking process makes it edible and apparently it is also popular in Russia. I won't be ordering that off the menu!
Here I am on more familiar ground as the mushroom on the left is the Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) used extensively in Asian cuisine but rarely the stems as they are harder than the cap and take longer to cook.
Lastly is the one seen on every supermarket shelf the button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) shown in its natural habitat growing on grasslands.

An entry to Violet Sky's Sunday Stamps II theme of - mushrooms, fungi - see more stamps growing here.



FinnBadger said...

These are fabulous. I might be suspicious of a few of those if they showed up on my dinner plate

Bob Scotney said...

The lion's mane is my favourite. Anything in a bright red colour should be treated with caution.

Eva A. said...

I'm afraid I'm highly suspicious of any mushroom (except the commonest in my area). I eat them sometimes, but I'm not a big fun. Anyway, if I have to choose one stamps for use it, the red has all the points!

VioletSky said...

I rather lie the name 'snow ear'! But I would also be suspicious of all of these.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

Goodness! I wouldn't rush out to buy green mushrooms, or hairy ones. My country cousins in Ireland used to go mushroom picking but I wouldn't eat those either.