An edible mushroom
Those who love mushrooms know how important recognition is. Not by chance, in Italy the legislation regarding the collection of mushrooms is very strict, because mycetes often have similar morphological characteristics, which can lead to confusing one species with another. Sometimes the error has no consequences; but if a poisonous species is exchanged with an edible one, serious health problems may occur, sometimes even the death of those who ingest the fungus in question. A species to which a great deal of attention must be paid, and which it is absolutely necessary to bring to the ASL for official recognition, is the Kuehneromyces mutabilis, commonly known as broche. This mushroom is in fact edible, and also good to eat, but it is very similar to species that are poisonous and toxic.
The characteristics of broche
Kuehneromyces mutabilis is a fungus belonging to the Strophariaceae family; it is also called Pholiota mutabilis, and in the common name is called broche, or small yellow family. All these names have relevance to its morphological characteristics. The botanical name, for example, mutabilis, describes the fact that its color can change depending on the variation of the surrounding humidity rate. It is called the yellow family because the predominant color of the hat and the stem is yellow, and because its specimens always grow in very compact groups. The cap is convex and smooth, and has a color that varies from brown-cinnamon, when it is wet, to ocher, when it is dry. The maximum size of the hat diameter is 7 centimeters, while the stem can measure up to 8 centimeters, and has the same color as the cap.
How to recognize the broche
Broche is a mushroom with quite peculiar and recognizable characteristics. It is a saprophytic organism, therefore it can be found above all on fallen trunks, or in the stumps. It also grows on deciduous and coniferous trees, and can be found starting from spring, until the first cold of winter. It never grows alone, but in very compact groups, and tends to appear more or less in the same places. It is not very easy to find, and the iridescent color of the hat is its most peculiar figure, along with the smell of meat, which is very aromatic and typically smells like fungus. This aspect can be useful in order not to confuse broche with Galerina marginata, a mushroom that is very similar to it, but which is poisonous, and whose meat smells instead of flour.
Broche: How to eat broche
The flavor of the broche is very pleasant, because it is not too marked but delicate. Nevertheless, this mushroom is not much consumed, although it is edible, either because of the difficulty in finding it in the undergrowth, or because of the fear of confusing it with a poisonous mushroom like Galerina. The broche can also be exchanged with the Millaria tabescens, that is the boletus mushroom, but in this case nothing happens because the bolt is edible, even if only after cooking. Therefore, many recipes based on broche are not known, and indeed, some experts do not recommend their consumption: in reality, once its identity has been ascertained, it could be cooked in all the usual ways, for example sautéed in a pan, or even raw in salad. The collection and recognition of broche, however, must absolutely be done by very experienced people, because the Galerina marginata, with which it can be confused, is not only poisonous, but also deadly.