Hi Rod . weilii,
It’s great to be finding amanitas again, summer is here. As a group, Amanitas are most beautiful among the fungi. They look more like people than most other mushrooms. Something about the form of an amanita triggers the human aesthetic sense, even though many of them are deadly.
I have not eaten any amanita, and I probably never will. I don’t want to be that guy who proved .007% of A amerimuscari collections carry the gene for amatoxin. I’ve tried quite a few wild mushrooms, and the only ones I eat these days are morels and chanterells.
Morels in low doses only though. My roomate and I both got sick from eating too many morels last spring. I suspect there is a neurotoxin present in morels that effects the serotonergic system. The sickness was like the come-up sickness from consuming psilocybin mushrooms, but without any of the pretty colors and other fun stuff that follows the initial nausea and malaise.
The human aesthetic sense evolved to trigger a pleasure response in the presence of beautiful human forms. The ability to recognize fitness in a potential mate, or a potential ally, is, I suspect, at the core of the human aesthetic sense. Analogues of beautiful human forms found elsewhere in nature trigger our hardwired sense of beauty. Amanitas are the most anthropomorfic, and therefore the most beautiful.