August 14, 2007

Dinner & Taxonomy

Dinner was absolutely wonderful if I do say so myself. The Laetiporus came out just right. I breaded it with some oregano and garlic, fried it, and then finished it by baking it in tomato sauce with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. For the side (though I don't like calling it that!) there was linguine with a sauce of black trumpets and Cantharellus ignicolor in sour cream. I'd thought the C. ignicolor were merely very small C. cibarius, but a more thorough examination gave me their true identity. They're small but quite good; it's the first time I've tried them, making them the fifth chanterelle species I've eaten. The black trumpets are top of my list as far as taste goes; for something so thin-fleshed, they certainly pack in a strong flavor.

After preparation, the five pounds of Laetiporus was enough for four healthy servings, so LL is taking some with her to lunch tomorrow. That's good; we've got to finish all this off because I'm told to expect a similar yield from tomorrow's foray. We'll also be looking for some specific species. I think one of the main goals of our expedition is to come back with some Calostoma, which are unique but not edible as far as I know. I won't go into the details, but there's a bit of a phylogenetic problem with them in terms of molecular biology and solving that quandary is one of the projects underway in our laboratory.

I've finished identifying about half of the specimens I found today. Interesting stuff, including at least one Amanita I haven't found before, though I was correct in assuming that it was a close relative of A. caesara and A. jacksonii. I'm still trying to get a spore print out of one fairly large, very yellow bolete. I may or may not get this all finished tonight.

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