What are Wild Oyster Mushrooms?
We live in western Pennsylvania and were just turned on to wild Oyster Mushrooms this year by our friend, Tara Hassler. These mushrooms are super tasty, very good for you and really grow around PA in an abundance. If you are not harvesting Oyster Mushrooms, you are really missing out!
Oyster Mushrooms are a creamy white shelf mushroom that grows on dead, deciduous trees. They have parallel gills on their underside that run down through the stem of the mushroom and have a faint, earthy, licorice smell to them.
They are cool and rubbery to the touch.
More Oyster Mushroom Images
Below are a few images of barely salvageable oysters… and an oyster mushroom spore print.
Are oyster mushrooms poisonous?
Oyster Mushrooms are not only edible but extremely tasty. They are a meaty mushroom that has a taste similar to a Morel in my opinion.
That being said, anytime you eat a new mushroom, it is best to start out with a small sample and see if you have any type of reaction to it.
Also, make sure you are actually eating an oyster mushroom and not a look-a-like. There really aren’t any look-a-like mushrooms in Pennsylvania that are poisonous. One big thing to remember is that the Oyster’s gills run down the length of the stem.
The closest would be the Angel Wing, which has conflicting reports about its toxicity. Angel Wings (I believe) only grow on conifers. They are also thinner, more delicate, and pure white. Many people eat them with no ill effects.