Amanita muscaria is classified as conditionally edible, although recently its harmlessness has been questioned. It is similar to several varieties of other mushrooms at once. It is confused with both edible and deadly poisonous species. To collect ovoid fly agarics, you need to know exactly what they look like.
Description of the egg-shaped fly agaric
Latin name Amanita ovoidea. The prefix "egg-shaped" mushroom received for the shape of young fruiting bodies, completely hidden under the veil.
But in other regions of Crimea, a giant talker is called a white mountain, so there may be confusion with the names and descriptions of mushrooms. It's not worth buying such a white mountain from your hands. Everything that is white is collected for sale in Crimea, including the stinking fly agaric.
The size of the fruiting bodies often depends on the weather and the nutritional value of the soil. The average height is usually 10-15 cm. The color of the cap and legs is white, but other mushrooms have the same color. However, the color can also be variable. There are also darker varieties.
The pulp is white, dense, does not darken at the break. The presence of a smell most likely depends on the acuity of the mushroom picker's sense of smell:
- poorly distinguishable;
- smells slightly of the sea;
- mealy, unpleasant.
Smell may vary by location. The taste is almost invisible.
Spores are white, but they appear only in ripe fruit bodies, which in any case are no longer suitable for food.
Description of the hat
The diameter of a mature mushroom is from 6 to 20 cm. The hat of an old fly agaric is flat in shape with a bulge where the leg is attached from below.
Since at the beginning of growth, the fruiting body is completely under the veil, it seems that the cap is one piece with the stem, and all together has an ovoid shape. As it grows, the cover breaks. The upper part remains on the cap, and the lower one looks like a sepal in flowers, from which the stem grows.
As it grows, the cap takes on a rounded shape. On the edges, a fringe is clearly visible, left over from a torn volva (bedspread). This is the main difference between the ovoid and its dangerous relatives. The skin can be white, off-white or pale beige. The hat is dry and shiny. A young fly agaric has rare white flakes on it. The latter quickly disappear as the fruiting body of the ovoid fly agaric grows.
The hymenophore in young mushrooms is white. The plates are wide, free, pubescent edges. In old hymenophores, it takes on a beige tint.
In aging mushrooms, the cap fully unfolds in a "saucer" with a bulge in the middle and can acquire a brownish tint. The remnants of the Volvo around the edges are almost disappearing.
Height reaches 10-15 cm and 3-5 cm in diameter. The consistency of the leg is dense, without voids inside. The form is club-shaped: at the bottom it is more massive, at the top it becomes thinner. At the bottom are the remains of the bedspread. The color is white, yellowish or cream. The surface is not smooth. It is covered with a flaky powdery coating.
Volvo is large, semi-free, bag-shaped. The edge is lobed or wavy. The color is usually in several variants:
- with a brown tint;
- light orange.
The ring on the leg is filmy, hanging, wide. White color. The remains of the bedspread on the cap look like sparse warty white flakes. They quickly disappear with age. At the edges of the cap there is a fringe of fibrous remains of the bedspread.
Where and how it grows
The distribution area of the fungus on the Eurasian continent is quite large. It is most commonly found in the Mediterranean. Due to the similarity of the climate, the ovoid fly agaric is one of the most common mushrooms in Crimea. Found in the British Isles, Central Europe, Transcaucasia, Western Siberia, Japan.
Amanita muscaria prefers limestone soils. For this reason, it is one of the most common mushrooms in the Crimean mountains, composed of sedimentary limestone rocks. In a steppe that is too dry, this species does not grow, preferring more humid and shady deciduous and coniferous forests. But in the Crimea, ovoid is found in the region of Bakhchisarai.
Prefers to grow in forests of beech trees: chestnut, beech, oak.
True, there are no chestnut forests in Crimea. The growing season is in August-September.
Is the mushroom edible or not
You can eat conditionally edible mushrooms, but after some preparatory steps. However, in the ovoid fly agaric, these procedures are minimized.
This mushroom does not need to be pre-soaked in several waters, it is enough just to boil and drain the liquid. After that, you can cook any dish from fly agarics.
When harvesting for the winter, fresh egg-shaped fly agarics are dried or frozen. For pickling, they are first boiled.
In winter, dried fly agarics are first soaked in water, and then boiled in the same way as fresh ones. Cooking frozen differs only in that they do not need to be soaked, but defrosted.
Attention! Today, the edibility of the egg-shaped fly agaric is in doubt, since several cases of poisoning with these mushrooms have been recorded.
But the outcome of the poisoning is unknown, and the type of mushrooms, most likely, was recorded from the words of the victims. In the same area, along with the ovoid, other deadly poisonous species can grow.
How to cook egg-shaped fly agaric
After boiling with an egg-shaped fly agaric, you can cook the same dishes as with other mushrooms:
- sandwich or hot sandwich;
- second courses;
The main requirement for cooking is preliminary boiling.
To prepare sandwiches, boiled mushrooms are fried in sunflower oil. Add onion, salt and pepper to taste. Fried mushrooms are mixed with a finely chopped boiled egg, parsley and chopped nuts are added. The bread is greased with butter and the resulting mass is spread on it.
For hot sandwiches, place a plate of melting cheese on top of the resulting structure and place the plate in the microwave / oven. After melting the cheese, the sandwich is ready to eat.
Roast chicken is more difficult to prepare. From the dishes you will need a pot, a saucepan for boiling mushrooms and a frying pan. Of the products you will need:
- 12 medium-sized ovoid fly agarics;
- 1 chicken breast;
- 1 carrot;
- 5 medium-sized potatoes;
- 1 onion;
- 50 g of 20 percent sour cream;
- 5 tbsp. l. vegetable oil;
- a bunch of parsley;
- salt and pepper to taste.
The mushrooms are checked for spoilage and worms and washed. Cut into 4 parts, put in cold water and bring to a strong boil. The still bubbling broth is drained. But you don't need to start all over again. The second time, fly agarics are poured with hot water. Cook for 30 minutes or more, until all the pieces have sunk to the bottom of the pot. Thrown into a colander to glass excess liquid. While the mushrooms are cooling, you can tackle the chicken breast.
Fillets are cut into thin strips and fried in a pan until golden brown. Transfer to a pot.
The mushrooms are fried in vegetable oil until the excess water evaporates. The onion, chopped into rings, is added to the fly agarics and fried until softened. Shift everything to the meat.
Peeled potatoes are cut into several pieces. Carrots are chopped into strips or grated on a coarse grater. Root vegetables are fried in a pan with a little oil for 5 minutes.
Vegetables are also laid out in a pot, sour cream, pepper and salt are added. Stew in a preheated oven until the potatoes are cooked. This will take about 45 minutes.
Salad with seafood and mushrooms
This salad is not difficult to prepare, but not all ingredients may be on hand in a provincial town. For the salad you will need:
- fly agarics;
- celery root;
- sweet potato tuber;
- soy sauce or mayonnaise.
The mussels are baked in the oven for 5 minutes. Amanita is boiled separately, the water is drained, cooled and chopped in layers. One medium sweet potato tuber and salad celery root are cut into thin strips. An almost finished dish is seasoned with mayonnaise or sauce and mix well.
Doubles and their differences
Cases of poisoning with an egg-shaped fly agaric may be associated with the fact that this species has only two edible counterparts: young mushrooms and a raincoat. You can only confuse fruiting bodies, in which the veil has not yet been torn. If you cut the champignon, you will see its main difference from the egg-shaped fly agaric - the brown hymenophore. The raincoat has no plates at all. As soon as the coverlet of the fly agaric breaks, it is no longer possible to confuse it with edible twins.
The situation is worse with other, poisonous, Amish species. The ovoid fly agaric growing in Crimea, neither in the photo nor in the forest, practically does not differ from its poisonous counterparts. In addition to the ovoid, in the Crimean forest you can find:
All these species grow in the same place as the ovoid. Only the steppe fly agaric differs in that it is found in the steppe and tolerates summer drought well.
Spring Grebe (Amanitaverna)
Synonyms for the name: spring amanita, white amanita. It begins to grow in the spring. The season lasts until the end of summer. It prefers to grow in the same places as the ovoid.
The fruiting body is more "graceful". The cap usually reaches a diameter of no more than 10 cm. There are no rags of bedspreads on the edges of the cap.
The leg is 7-12 cm high and thinner (0.7-2.5 cm) than that of the ovoid. In the upper part there is a wide white ring with indistinct stripes. The Volvo at the base fits snugly to the leg, but is not spliced with it.
The pulp is almost odorless, with an unpleasant taste.
White toadstool (Amanitavirosa)
She's a stinky fly agaric. It was named so for a reason. This mushroom has an unpleasant chlorine smell. The diameter of the cap is up to 11 cm. The color is white or off-white. Dry skin is shiny, sticky, slimy.
The leg is high, like that of an ovoid. But the diameter is not more than 2 cm. As in the ovate, the leg is covered with a flocculent bloom. Tuberous at the base. The filmy ring quickly disappears, but fibrous bands or scraps may remain.
Volvo up to 3 cm wide, bag-shaped or cupped. Free. Often buried in soil.
Most common in the north of the temperate zone of Eurasia. It is also found in the Crimea. Season from June to October. In time, this period completely overlaps the season in the ovoid fly agaric.
It may seem that the pale toadstool does not look like an egg-shaped fly agaric. But she has a very wide variability of color: from almost white to dirty green. The lightened variation can be confused with the edible fly agaric.
The sizes of the pale toadstool and the ovoid fly agaric are the same. The latter is distinguished by a characteristic wide fringed ring on the leg. With age, it disappears, but old mushrooms acquire an unpleasant sweetish odor, which is almost imperceptible in young fruit bodies.
The season for the pale toadstool falls at the end of summer and autumn.
Yellow Toadstool (Amanitacitrina)
- fly agaric toadstool;
- lemon fly agaric;
- yellow-green fly agaric.
The sizes of the caps and legs of the yellow toadstool are almost completely identical to the ovoid one. The skin color of the cap can be almost white. Because of this, the yellow toadstool is confused with the egg-shaped fly agaric.
The ring on the leg is wide, smooth, sagging. Yellow color. Volvo rooted to the base. The color ranges from brownish to yellowish brown. In young mushrooms, it can be almost white. The pulp has a characteristic smell of raw potatoes and an unpleasant taste.
The yellow grebe grows in all types of forests up to 1400 m above sea level. Season from mid-August to late October. The peak of the growing season is in September.
Attention! Collecting this type of mushroom is not recommended, since sources of information cannot decide to consider the yellow toadstool as a conditionally edible or poisonous mushroom.
Amanita muscaria (Amanitavittadinii)
The second name is "fly agaric Vittadini". Some sources classify it as poisonous, others as conditionally edible. Although the sizes of the ovate and steppe fly agaric are the same, it is still difficult to confuse them.
The steppe leg retains scaly until adulthood. The cap is tuberous and the tubercles do not disappear, as happens with the scales on the ovoid cap.
The double ring on the pedicle is warty, wide, with a membranous edge.
Grows in the steppe zone and mixed forests. Found in artificial plantations. The season is from April to October.
Attention! For accurate identification of fly agarics when collecting, you need not cut the mushrooms with a knife, but twist them out of the ground together with the Volvo.
Why are egg-shaped fly agarics dangerous?
The egg-shaped fly agarics themselves can only cause mild nausea if not properly prepared. The main danger is the similarity of the ovoid with poisonous amish.
Poisoning symptoms, first aid
Mushroom poisoning is dangerous in that it manifests itself only a few hours after a meal. With pale toadstool poisoning, the first symptoms appear after 6-24 hours. In case of poisoning with other amish, symptoms may appear even after 3 days.
During this time, the poison has time to be absorbed and begin its destructive work. Signs of poisoning:
- abdominal pain;
After 2 days, everything goes away, but in another day the functions of the liver and kidneys will be completely disrupted. And this is already irreversible. Therefore, when such symptoms appear, it is worth making sure that there have been no mushrooms in the diet in the last 3 days.
In case of poisoning with muscarine, which contain amanite, symptoms appear 30-120 minutes after a meal:
- strong perspiration;
- increased salivation;
- visual impairment;
- constriction of the pupils;
In severe poisoning, pulmonary edema and respiratory failure develop, after which collapse occurs.
First aid consists of flushing the gastrointestinal tract and calling an ambulance. Antidotes to muscarine are anticholinergics, one of which is atropine.
In case of poisoning with pale toadstool, anticholinergics do not work. Other antidotes are needed to neutralize its poison.
In any case, if symptoms of poisoning appear, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. When poisoning with pale toadstool, the internal organs will be damaged, but there is a chance to survive.
Amanita muscaria is undesirable to collect for people with little experience. Due to the similarity of this mushroom to other types of amish, you can get serious poisoning. At the same time, the ovoid fly agaric is considered quite valuable and is harvested for the winter. But not everyone likes the specific taste of the mushroom, even if it is barely noticeable.