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.

The gills of an oyster mushroom will run the length of the stem.
Oysters grow on dead desiduous trees.
It shouldn’t take to long to spot the oyster mushrooms in this image:

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.

How do you store oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms will keep in your refrigerator for a few days.

I ended up dehydrating ours and bagging them up for later use.  They rehydrate easily and this allows me to keep them for as long as I need to.

I have also heard of people freezing them, but I have not tried this yet!

How do you cook oyster mushrooms?

The way I will work this section is by only posting recipes and cooking methods that I actually try.

You can use a coffee grinder to grind up your dehydrated mushrooms into powder.  I used this with a little flour and Stagshead Sumac and tossed some sirloin strips to fry. It was pretty tasty.

Pleurotus ostreatus

AKA: Oyster Mushrooms

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Poisonous PA Mushrooms we have found

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Edible PA Mushrooms – Western Pennsylvania Mushrooms

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