Hypomyces lactifluorum – Lobster Mushrooms

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Lobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum) are a parasitic mold that takes over a Russula or Lactarius mushroom, turning the mushroom red and improving the texture and taste. The mold most commonly infects Russula brevipes and Lactarius piperatus mushrooms.
Lobster mushrooms grow in the ground, near hardwoods or hemlocks. They can be found July-October. Lobster mushrooms can have a very irregular shape. The surface is red and covered with small, raised, solid pimples. The flesh is white to orangey white and dense. It produces white spores. No other mushroom looks quite like a lobster mushroom.
Lobster mushrooms are a choice edible fungus which can only be found in the wild. They have been considered a delicacy for hundreds of years. The flavor can vary, but they often have a seafood-like taste. The mushroom is great sautéed with white wine and served with seafood. It can also be dried for preservation. Lobster mushrooms make a great dried mushroom powder.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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