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Talkers are a common type of mushroom that includes both edible and poisonous specimens. They are used for the preparation of many dishes, so they should be collected with great care. Photos and descriptions of talker mushrooms will help you not to make a mistake when collecting.
Where talkers grow
Talker mushrooms can be found in almost all countries with a temperate climate - Eastern and Western Europe, China, Turkey, USA, etc. They live in coniferous forests, as well as in fields and meadows, but optimal conditions are surrounded by deciduous trees.
This type of mushroom grows in clusters, forming the so-called "witch circle" when the mushrooms are placed around the diameter of a circle with an empty space in the middle.
What talkers look like
The cap of this mushroom is notable for its modest size - its diameter is 4-8 cm, in rare specimens it grows up to 15-20 cm.In young ones it looks like a hemisphere, over time it becomes flat, and in old ones it may have a funnel in the center.
The surface of the cap is dry and even, has a brownish-gray, ocher, beige or brownish-pinkish color. Color saturation decreases from the middle to the edges. Sometimes on the surface you can see the remains of mycelium, resembling mold spots.
The plates on the inside of the cap are usually white. The older the mushroom, the closer to yellow their shade.
The leg of various types of talkers can have a height of 4 to 10 cm and a diameter of 1-3 cm.
The flesh of young specimens is quite dense, white in color; as the fungus ages, it becomes drier.
The spore powder is white or cream in color.
Types of talkers
More than 250 varieties of mushroom belong to the genus. On the territory of our country, about 60 different talkers are known and studied. Among them you can find both completely edible and very poisonous. Therefore, it is necessary to have a good idea of what this or that species looks like and whether it is safe to collect it. This will help photos of edible talkers and their poisonous counterparts.
The most common types of talkers:
- Bent talker - an edible species with a wide cap, the size of which can reach 18 cm, gray-yellow in color. In young mushrooms, the cap is slightly convex, in old ones it is funnel-shaped with an elevation in the middle. The plates are frequent, white. The stem is strong, of the same color as the cap, 12-20 cm high and up to 3 cm thick. The flesh is white, in older mushrooms it is brownish. In the upper part, it is strong and elastic, and on the leg it is more porous and dryish. Such a talker can grow both as separate fungi and in groups in the form of large circles. It can be found in deciduous forests and forest edges. The yield period is from late summer to October. It has a poisonous counterpart - entoloma, but unlike the bent talker, the cap of the entoloma is flat, and the flesh has an unpleasant rancid odor.
- The talker is gray or smoky - an edible mushroom. The hat, like other varieties, is domed at first, and over time it becomes even with a small depression. The color of the cap is light gray or brownish. The plates are frequent, white or yellow with a grayish tinge. The lower part of the fruiting body is strong, low, 3-4 cm thick, white-gray in color. The flesh of the cap is strong and juicy, and the legs are drier, with a pungent soapy smell. Inhabits deciduous or coniferous forests, more often in numerous groups. The fruiting period is from August to the end of autumn.
Attention! Despite the fact that the smoky talker belongs to edible mushrooms, its consumption without preliminary digestion for half an hour can provoke an eating disorder.
- Goblet talker is an edible mushroom. Its head is shaped like a cup or glass with the edges bent outward. The size of the cap is 5-8 cm, the color is brown or brown-gray. The plates are sparse, brown in color. The leg is hollow, 9-12 cm high. The flesh of the mushroom is watery, off-white. Grows in forests among fallen leaves or needles. The period of active growth is August-September.
- Orange talker (otherwise false chanterelle) is an edible mushroom with a funnel-shaped cap with bent edges of bright orange color. The stem is also orange, smooth, 5-8 cm high. Grows one at a time or in small clusters in mixed or coniferous forests among moss and loose leaves. The fruiting period is from August to October.
- The clubfoot talker is a conditionally edible mushroom. The cap in young specimens is spherical, and in more mature ones it is funnel-shaped, brown or gray-brown in color, 6-8 cm in size. The plates are rare, cream-colored. The leg is clavate, which gave the name to the species, fibrous grayish-brown, no more than 7-8 cm high. The pulp is thin, moist, with a slight smell of flour. Lives in coniferous or mixed forests, single specimens or several pieces. The fruiting period is from August to October.
Attention! The mushroom is conditionally edible, so before cooking it must first be boiled and drained. In combination with alcohol, it becomes poisonous.
- The funnel-shaped or funnel-shaped talker is a conditionally edible mushroom, the most common variety. The hat is initially flat with an elevation in the center, and as it grows, it takes the form of a funnel. The size of the cap does not exceed 7-8 cm. The color is yellowish-brown. The plates in this variety are frequent, descending along the leg. The lower part of the fruiting body is thin, hard, 8-10 cm high. The mushroom grows singly or in clusters in the forests on a litter of loose leaves or needles. The fruiting period is from August to the beginning of frost. Only young specimens can be used for food, first boiling them for at least an hour.
- Aniseed or fragrant talker is an edible, rare mushroom. The hat, like that of other "relatives", is at first slightly curved, and as it grows, it turns into a cupped shape. The color is gray-green. The plates are white or pale green, adherent to the base. The leg is gray-yellow, the size does not exceed 6 cm. The pulp is pale green, watery, with a pronounced smell of anise. Grows in mixed forests in several pieces. The fruiting period is from late summer to October.
Attention! The mushroom requires mandatory boiling, as a result of which the characteristic aniseed aroma becomes weaker.
- Whitish talker - a small poisonous mushroom. The diameter of the cap does not exceed 5 cm. The shape is curved at first, and in mature mushrooms it is slightly depressed with lowered uneven edges. Color - white with a grayish tint, the surface is smooth and dry. The plates are also white or grayish, adherent. The lower part of the fruiting body is thin, cylindrical, 3-4 cm high, white or cream-colored. It grows most often in meadows or forest edges. The mushroom is very poisonous due to the significant content of the alkaloid muscarine and is categorically unsuitable for food.
- Waxy talker is a poisonous lamellar mushroom. The cap of young mushrooms is flat with a tubercle in the center. And over time it takes on a depressed shape. The surface is smooth, light gray in color, acquiring a darker shade in rainy weather. Descending, cream colored plates. The grayish-white leg has an even cylindrical shape and a height of 4-6 cm, the pulp is dense with a pungent odor. This species grows in open forest areas singly or in groups. The growth period is from July to September. The fungus is highly toxic and can cause severe food poisoning.
- A reddish-brown talker is a poisonous mushroom with a funnel-shaped cap of a reddish-brown or reddish shade with a diameter of 6-8 cm. The plates are frequent, descending, cream or yellowish in color. In the photo of a poisonous talker, you can see that her leg is dense, light reddish in color, 4-5 cm high. The flesh is thin and tough, with a sour smell. This species grows in coniferous or mixed forests from August to October.
Attention! Previously, the mushroom belonged to a conditionally edible species, but later muscarine, which is a poisonous substance, was found in its composition.
Is it possible to eat talkers
The genus of talkers includes both edible and highly poisonous subspecies. Due to the fact that it is very difficult to distinguish inedible talker mushrooms from harmless ones, they are recommended only to experienced mushroom pickers to collect them. If there is even the slightest doubt about the edibility of the mushroom, it is better to refrain from collecting it.
Edible talkers are very nutritious and have a range of health benefits. The caps of young mushrooms are usually used for food. Before the main preparation, they must be boiled.
Taste qualities of the govorushka mushroom
Fresh talkers, due to the high content of enzymes, have a bitter taste, so they are not consumed fresh. After boiling, the caps lose their bitterness, retaining a pleasant taste and pronounced aroma. The legs of this species are usually tasteless and are not used for food.
Benefits and harm to the body
Edible talkers are a valuable source of protein and a number of vitamins and macro- and microelements (zinc, manganese, copper), thanks to which they have many useful properties:
- promote the elimination of toxins and toxins;
- prevent the formation of cholesterol plaques and blood clots;
- reduce the risk of tumors;
- have antibacterial properties;
- help in the treatment of respiratory diseases;
- improve the functioning of the digestive tract.
If we talk about the dangers of mushrooms, then it should be remembered that they accumulate heavy metals, so you should not collect them near enterprises or highways. Talkers should not be eaten by children under 12 years of age, pregnant or lactating women. Any mushrooms are a heavy product, therefore, in the presence of gastrointestinal diseases, they should be eaten with great care.
The greatest yield of talkers falls in the period from August to September. You need to look for them in places favorable for growth - in forests, where there are a lot of fallen leaves, needles and moss. They grow more often in groups, which greatly facilitates their collection.
Advice! Only young specimens should be collected, since the concentration of harmful substances and toxins is higher in old mushrooms.
How to cook talker mushrooms
There are a large number of recipes for making talkers. They are used for soups, sauces, main courses and preparations for the winter. The collected mushrooms must be washed, cleaned and heat treated. It is necessary to cook talkers for at least 30 minutes. The resulting broth is poured. After that, they can already be cooked.
Talker Soup Recipe:
- The potatoes must be peeled, cut into cubes or strips and placed in boiling water. Add bay leaves and a few black peppercorns. Cook potatoes until half cooked.
- While the potatoes are boiling, you need to peel and chop the onions and carrots. Vegetable oil is poured into a preheated pan, put onions and fry a little, then add carrots and pre-boiled talkers. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, not forgetting to stir.
- Remove the bay leaf from the broth and add the mixture from the pan to the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Mix some flour with cold water in a separate container and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the broth, stirring occasionally to avoid lumps. Add salt, spices and chopped herbs. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Talkers baked with meat and potatoes:
- Cut the pre-boiled mushrooms and place them on a baking sheet greased with vegetable oil.
- Cut the meat into pieces and beat off slightly, put on the mushrooms.
- Peel the potatoes, cut into slices and lay on top of the meat.
- Each layer must be salted and spices added to taste, smeared with sour cream.
- Place in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes at 180 ° C.
- Sprinkle grated cheese on top 5 minutes until tender.
- Pre-boiled and chopped talkers are placed in a preheated pan greased with vegetable oil.
- Season with salt, pepper and spices to taste.
- Fry over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Add sour cream and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
How to salt talkers for the winter
You can also salt or pickle talkers for the winter.
The most common hot salting:
- Wash the collected mushrooms, peel and boil for 30 minutes.
- Place the boiled talkers in a saucepan and pour hot clean water over the fire.
- Add salt at the rate of 200 g per 1 liter of water.
- Cook for 40 minutes.
- Place the talkers in the banks.
- Prepare the brine: for 1 liter of water 1 tbsp. l. salt, a clove of garlic, dill and 2-3 black peppercorns. Cook the brine for 3-5 minutes.
- Pour the resulting brine over the mushrooms so that they are completely covered.
- Close the jars and store in a cool, dark place.
- After 10 days, the mushrooms are ready to eat.
Photos and descriptions of talker mushrooms will help to distinguish edible specimens from their poisonous counterparts. These mushrooms have a number of useful properties and contain a large amount of vitamins and important micro- and macroelements. You can cook many delicious dishes from them, including preparations for the winter.