I have a couple of favorite mushrooms that I like to pick up such as the boletus family, puffballs, the cauliflower mushroom or chantreller. When you hunt for mushrooms and you know a bit about their function, how they bond with trees and form symbiotic relationships with them, it is easier to find them. Simply because you know on what type of trees you may find them.
I personally stay away from inky caps. Some people in Europe eat the Satans Mushroom or types of Corals, which I don't. There are far too many types of corals and you never really know if you got the right one.
Cauliflower mushroom do look like a big sponge. Fried up with chopped onions and butter in a pan they make a good meal.
Personally I always go right for boletus. There are so many different types of mushrooms and it is a real pleasure to learn about them, learning how to identify them is more than just a hobby, it is really is a passion and it does relieve stress for me personally. Brings my mind back in balance, the calm silence of nature.
Preserving them is another issue. Always use an open basket when you hunt for mushrooms, no plastic bags. Not recommendable and can be even dangerous.
I clean them up with cold water and a knife. Cutting the stem off, then the sponge, then cutting the rest of the mushroom into small slices so that I can see if there are any worms in there or not. If I have found a cauliflower mushroom, as shown above in the video, I cut the mushroom into big pieces and let is rest in warm water for a couple of hours. It literally is full of earth, spiders, ants, etc. You don't want to eat that.
I personally always put the mushrooms in a zipper bag and shove them in the freezer. That is how I preserve them for 2-3 months. More about mushrooms and my adventures is coming soon! As I sad, it is a big passion of mine.
Here are my favorite wild edible mushrooms
YELLOW CRACKING BOLETUS
PUFFBALLS (second picture, are edible if young and white inside)
This blog is not professional advice on how to identify them so be careful. The beautiful red mushrooms with the white spots are Amanita Muscaria, or Fly Agaric (as shown in the third picture). They are toxic, so stay away from them!
Please remember that mushrooms are not something funny to play around with, if you do understand their role within nature and the natural ecosystem, you will learn to respect their function. They are the natural recyclers in nature, they decompose dead matter, absorb dead matter and toxic material, and transform nutrients back into the soil. Mushrooms have strong relationships to trees and maintain a symbiotic relationship with them.