Observation 114136: Amanita muscaria var. guessowii Veselý

When: 2012-10-21

Collection location: East Lyme, Connecticut, USA [Click for map]

Who: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)

No specimen available

Found Amanita muscaria var. guessowii by a bush and eastern white pines. I’m considering eating it via the method used to detoxify it. If I do, it’ll be the 2nd wild Amanita I’ve eaten.


This pic shows how the lamellae

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edibility & more
By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2013-01-03 02:16:31 UTC (+0000)

Very interesting, Deb. So I time the cells discolor to grey in some species as they die.

As to what other species it may be, I can’t think of any based on colors and location. Are there others it may be (excluding what can only be decipherable by phylogenetic analysis)?

Amanita eating novice? True, and I’d be up to three by now if I didn’t take so many years to get trying some, but yes ur right.

I didn’t know mycoweb mike eats them, but i c now.

Oh, so u carefully ate a sliver w/o parboiling, which tasted amazing. But the chef ate much more, which seems ridiculous to do. Now, I wonder if there are some mushrooms that taste like A. muscaria, minus toxins, & minus the umami. If so, adding some msg might get the same flavor effect as A. muscaria, but w/o the danger.

Deb, ur article explains a lot, but in its present form in conjunction w/the pro-muscaria article is a little confusing as to a conclusion. In reading both, I conclude:

A. muscaria is a dangerous mushroom if not properly prepared; otherwise most evidence shows it safe if not eaten in excess. Therefore it should be treated w/great caution. Furthermore, it is not clear that every var. is rendered relatively safe via parboil (as per the pro-muscaria articles). And while some vars are relatively easy to distinguish from non-muscarias, some vars are not as easy to distinguish.

Sam Schaperow

veils are not always white…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-01-02 20:20:08 UTC (+0000)

and can color to gray (a decay process, apparently, in some amanitas; Tulloss calls it necropigment; see the gray inner volva of Amanita constricta). colored veils in amanitas can lose color through bleaching by sun or water dilution by rain, like in our western franchetti sensu Thiers.

It is certainly one of the muscaroid species. Cap colors are not necessarily indicative of a particular species though…all of the muscaria genetic varieties can show, along with the classic red, white or yellow or even purple brown forms (like regalis, now dropped from its species status back to a muscaria morph).

I saw that you had eaten one species of amanita before, Sam. That still makes you a amanita eating novice. You were in good company trying that one. We have a strong tradition of eating rubescens (not the exact one you have in eastern NA, but pretty close) throughout Europe, where they are sold in markets. You WON’T find muscaria for sale in any European market, though.

Too bad Mike didn’t share his thoughts about muscaria munching with the rest of us here. I know that he sees fit to claim it to be an edible species on Mykoweb, a choice with which I strongly disagree. Again, it’s back to that extreme cuisine thing…that’s fine for the “bad boys at home”…not so fine for a public list.

Your opinions may vary.

As to flavor…muscaria has scads of umami. This umami is most pronounced without par-boiling. But then, one must severely limit one’s consumption or suffer the downsides of toxic muscaria ingestion. I had one slice, seared in a bit of oil in a hot wok: absolute unadulterated deliciousness.

But like those Japanese gentlemen in the Nagano Prefecture, I limited the amount that I ate to keep my toxic dose low. I had zero effects, positive or negative. The Chef, however, who both ate the muscaria freely as well as drank alcohol, fell into an unrousable sleep and had to be watched overnight so that he didn’t freeze to death!

Folks who didn’t have a “guardian angel” with them in the woods have frozen to death after consuming this mushroom and falling into a coma.

It is absolutely NOT a harmless edible, and the history of its safe use has been conflated. Trying a couple of par-boiled pieces as a dare is not the same a feeding your family meals, although some have indeed eaten it as a food of desperation, when there was nothing else around.

tried it?
By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2013-01-02 18:36:03 UTC (+0000)

Hi Mike & Deb:

I appreciate your comments.

I believe these were found right before the storm (Sandy) hit, and I wasn’t able to take the slow methodological precautions I like to take with certain new mushrooms, so I did not try it. However, I did dry it and will likely some day try it after I’ve decided how I want to proceed.

Deb, I did read your article on it, which can serve to ensure the other side of the story is told. I know this isn’t the emphasis of the article, but I’m wondering how in the world the Japanese chef made it taste as the best Amanita you’ve eaten?

(BTW, this wouldn’t be my 1st Amanita. I’ve eaten the Eastern Blusher.).

Also, does anyone know the answer to my 1st comment? “BTW, when are they white vs. grey? These seem grey.”

Thanks so much!


I know the edible amanita options are more limited on the East Coast….
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-01-02 16:12:38 UTC (+0000)

but maybe you DON’T want to start with a toxic species.

Here’s another viewpoint, written as a rebuttal to the Rubel/Arora muscaria paper:


Tempted to eat??
By: Mike McCurdy (lesmcurdy)
2013-01-02 08:36:29 UTC (+0000)

Did you try it?

By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-10-22 03:29:35 UTC (+0000)

BTW, when are they white vs. grey? These seem grey.

Created: 2012-10-22 03:17:22 UTC (+0000)
Last modified: 2012-10-22 03:17:25 UTC (+0000)
Viewed: 65 times, last viewed: 2017-09-19 00:49:42 UTC (+0000)
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