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Auricularia auricula

Common name: Wood ear, Tree ear
Spore Print: White
Habitat: Grows on wood, dead logs
Edibility: Edible
Comments: This very unusual, edible mushroom is actually what the chineese use in their hot and sour soup! It can be purchased dried in many health food stores. It has the amazing ability to be completely dried and when rehydrated, come back to look just like the day you picked it! It has no taste at all, just texture and color. I've tried it fried in scrambled eggs. At first I fried up the wood ear, garlic and butter and the sliced pieces of wood ear kept jumping out of the frying pan! Tom Taggard introduced me to this species and said that the first time he showed this mushroom to his (Japanese) wife, he got a great big kiss! On our foray, I happened to pick a few of these (not knowing what they were) and, down the trail, showed it to Tom. He said, "Where did you get that? Are there more?" We went back and collected several pounds from an old dead log! The photo on the right is our harvest!

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Mushroom Identification