Lobster Mushroom

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(Scientific Name: Hypomyces lactifluorum) Orange in color, the name for this variety of mushroom is derived from its coloring that is similar to a lobster with the burnt orange outside and white inner meat. Often referred to as a parasite, the Lobster mushroom lives off the nutrients provided to other fungi as its host, most often living off Russula or Lactarius mushrooms. Although the Lobster mushroom most often does not live off poisonous varieties as hosts, it may do so at times, depending on the area in which it grows. Therefore, care should be taken to make sure surrounding mushrooms that are host to the Lobster mushroom are not of the poisonous variety. As it grows, an irregular shaped cap forms above the stem, developing into many different shapes with many different sizes.

Firm and chewy in texture, this mushroom provides a somewhat salty, delicate flavor that goes well with stir-fried dishes, soups, stews, terrine dishes, and chowders such as lobster chowder. Or, the mushrooms can be sautéed and added as an ingredient to omelets, frittatas and quiche dishes. Lobster mushrooms add color to foods being prepared while easily absorbing the flavors of other foods being cooked with the mushroom.

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