We had a nice dinner over the weekend, trying out a recipe for wild mushroom goulash from Food and Wine. The author told of gathering wild mushrooms in the Hungarian countryside for the dish, but we just bought mushrooms from the supermarket. Why? Because wild mushrooms can f**king kill you, that’s why!
In 2012, NBC reported “a scary surge in mushroom poisonings” in areas experiencing unusually rainy weather. Scary, indeed. The most common form of mushroom poisoning presents itself with extreme vomiting and explosive diarrhea. The good news is that it goes away. The bad news is the next thing you experience is liver failure. Just to clarify for you Phish fans, no, you don’t hallucinate to death with a big smile on your face.
The mushroom responsible for most poisonings worldwide is the aptly named death cap. Other dangerous shrooms have names like destroying angel; you can read about its excruciating effects in this first person account of mushroom poisoning.
The takeaway here is this: don’t eat wild mushrooms. Like cutting your own hair, picking mushrooms is something best left to an expert.