Agaricus Augustus: The Prince of Mushrooms

Princes are tall, noble mushrooms with feathered, golden caps that have a square-ish, marshmallow-like shape when young. They often crop up twice in a season, and are considered choice edibles.

These beauties appeared in July along a sidewalk edged with ivy. We carefully pried them out of the ground, marveling at their long stems, and carried them home.

Click on a photo to open the gallery:

What would you do with such fresh, tender, aromatic mushrooms?

Click on a photo to open the gallery and see what we did.

About two months later, the same stretch of sidewalk revealed another crop. Unfortunately, they went unnoticed for a few days and were a little past their prime when we found them.

At the same time, this batch of Agaricus praeclaresquamosus showed up very nearby.
These are quite similar to the Prince, with scaly caps, brown gills and a ring around the stem. Two noticeable differences are their grey-brown cap and their distinctly phenolic scent, like a bottle of ink, or that paste/glue we all used in kindergarten, or perhaps asphalt/creosote. Oh, and quite poisonous. So three differences, then.

West Coast Gooseneck Barnacles

Gooseneck barnacles are so ugly it’s hard to think of them as food. We’ve heard that in Spain and Portugal, percebes can cost up to $200 per kilo at restaurants. If people are spending that much to have them with a glass of Sherry, they must be pretty special.

On a recent trip to the far side of Vancouver Island we spotted some on the rocks at low tide and took the opportunity to see what the fuss was all about.

Hard to believe that inside these dinosaur-like heads and leathery bodies hides incredibly tender flesh with a flavour something like shrimp crossed with scallops.

Click through to see them cooked and served.

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