I’m always interested in the variety of search terms people use that land them here on this blog. Today somebody got here after searching Russula brevipes. Now this is an interesting mushroom to me, and it’s interesting because it has a special relationship with another fungus.
Russula brevipes is a short squat white member of the Russula group. It is reputed to be edible but not very palatable. However, the R. brevipes, along with a similar looking mushroom called Lactarius piperatus, is one of two possible hosts to a parasitic ascomysete or cup fungus known as Hypomyces lactifluorum. This cup fungus attacks the R. brevipes and does a few interesting things. It turns them scarlet red, it distorts their shape, it makes them very firm in texture – but most importantly it makes them into a very tasty edible mushroom that we simply call the lobster. In fact, in summer in the forests in which I forage, I likely find and collect more lobsters than any other mushroom. They’re great fresh and they dehydrate well too. When cooked, lobsters retain their firmness, which I would describe as a delicate crunch.
- Lobsters (27thstreet.wordpress.com)