Cornell University

edibles

Astraeus morganii

Twinkly earthstars

Fungi are secretive and elusive things. It’s hard to get to know them. They expose themselves shyly, briefly, and often bafflingly. Like these twinkly earthstars, which are hiding more than one secret.

refreshingly fungusy

I ate fungus slime, and it made my breath minty fresh

Fungi have been harnessed by industry to make all kinds of things that might surprise you. It’s tricky to get through a week without eating something fungal. Today we bring you pullulan, with which you make edible films and other clever things. It’s a compound produced by a slippery mold, Aureobasidium pullulans.

Boletus edulis

How to eat a bolete

King boletes are among the most delicious of mushrooms, so why is it that I am so bad at finding them? Some of their sisters are also delicious edibles; a few are not so good. This piece is not so much a guide to boletes, but rather an account of how to eat them.

Coprinus comatus ink

The Dish on Deliquescence in Coprinus Species

Inky caps are mushrooms that’re stately when they first appear, but dissolve into embarrassing black ink upon maturity. Why do they do that, and how? You can actually write in their stinky ink! How do I know the ink stinks? I don’t want to talk about it.

truffles2-525thumb

So you want to be a truffle-farmer…? (Part 2)

Our trufficulture adventure continues with a short history of black truffle cultivation in France, with a note on the unreasonable expense of synthetically truffle-scented olive oil.

truffles

So you want to be a truffle-farmer…? (Part 1)

Truffles are ugly, dirty, stink in a lascivious way, and excite wild desires in humankind and pigs alike. Apparently people will pay just about anything for these lumpish things. Hmm, what if you could grow them? Read on.

oysters en route

The Future of Fungal Freshness?

What if mushrooms weren’t grown in dank grow rooms by gnomes and elves, but instead grew right in their clever packaging on the way to market? Our student reporter interviews designer Agata Jaworska about her concept ‘Made in Transit,’ presented as her MS thesis at the renowned Dutch nexus, Design Academy Eindhoven.

corn smut

Huitlacoche

This post was contributed by Fahma Bob, a student in my Mushrooms class, PLPA 319 For a gardener, Ustilago maydis can certainly be a little scary, especially if you don’t know what it is. Imagine going out to your sweet…

Shiitake

Mushroom Fever

People used to think mushrooms sprang up spontaneously after thunderstorms or in response to devilry. We know better now, but there’s still some art in cultivating them. That said, you can probably manage to grow some yourself–maybe in your backyard or woodlot. Guest blogger Ariadne Reynolds reports on the forest farming of mushrooms, and provides some leads in case you’re ready to get started.

About

Most people don't pay much attention to fungi, which include things like mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. Here at Cornell we think they're pretty fascinating. In fact, even the most disgusting foot diseases and moldy strawberries are dear to our hearts. We'd like to talk to you about fungi, so that like us, you too can tell gross stories at the dinner table. Afterwards, maybe you'll notice some things you would have overlooked before, and we think this could be good for the planet.

Kathie T. Hodge, Editor

Beneath Notice, our book of borescopic mycology.

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