Identify Giant Puffball Mushrooms

Giant Puffball/ Summer / Autumn / Edible

Scientific Name
Calvatia gigantea

Family
Agaricaceae

Also known as
Puffballs

Habitat
Grasslands, pasture, lawns, commons and roadsides. Found in rings, troops or individually. You will also sometimes find these in and around open woodland.

Description
A large White to off-white fungus with a fine velvet like surface when young becoming smooth and papery. The inside of the fruiting body will turn to brown mature spores. 

Identifying Features

Stem: No visible stem but sometimes has a fine root-like filament that connects it to the ground.

Smell: Sweet, mushroomy.

Uses
In food
My favourite way to cook them is to cut them into thick slices, coat them with flour, egg and breadcrumbs and deep fry them. The ultimate vegan schnitzel.

Season
You can find Giant puffballs pop up at a number of different times of year however they’re most often found through the UK Summer.

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Known hazards
None known.

Harvesting
We gather these mostly in late summer or autumn. 

Potential lookalikes
The only thing this fungus could be confused with would be a football or another member of the puff ball family which is not an issues as all puffballs are edible when they are young.

Top tips
If this mushroom has passed its best eating stage (when it starts to turn brown inside) you can get lots of joy out them still. Simply line one up and pretended you’re kicking an American football and watch the brown powder fly everywhere.

Have you found a different type of puffball?

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