Mushrooms — a field guide

Shroom golly golly! Mushroom season is the best in years!
Community Newspaper Group / Eli Rosenberg

Attention foodies: foraging for mushrooms is the ultimate in eating local, so why not walk right past the greenmarket — where the fancy fungi go for exorbitant prices — and into Prospect Park to find your own? Here are four mushrooms you can find in the park, according to expert forager “Wildman” Steve Brill:

Giant Puffballs (Calvatia gigantea)
Giant Puffball mushrooms may look like they’re made from cheap white Styrofoam — they can even grow to be the size of beach balls — but they are a “choice edible,” according to Brill and delicious when sautéed, steamed, or baked.

— Eli Rosenberg

Hen-of-the-woods (Grifola frondosa)
Also known as maitakes, these fungi grow at the base of deciduous trees and can fetch upwards of $18 per pound at the supermarket or the health food store. They’re said to strengthen the immune system and ward off cancer, but they’re also just plain delicious.

Wine-cap Stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata)
These mushrooms have a red and brown cap and grow in wood-chips. They are often distinguished by threads of white fungus at their base, according to Brill and delicious when cooked with olive oil and lemon.