Today’s treat is dubbed ‘the cheez doodle
mushroom’ (Agaricus trisulphuratus syn. Cystoagaricus trisulphuratus) in
English, not because of its culinary value, but due to its ornamental value.
Mushrooms are forgotten elements in
gardens. Their edibility and beauty indeed enhance the experience, and their
seasonal appearance is similar to that of a precious flower. Some want to
grow lilacs all year round, but eating your favourite dish every day will no
longer satisfy you. It is better to have a long menu of favourite dishes and
feel daily euphoria of different reasons. At Dokmai Garden we are blessed
with around 1300 different plants, reptiles, birds, butterflies, fish and
mushrooms, and still rapidly counting.
When I saw it I immediately thought of cheez doodles, but
during the photography session it reminded me of some elaborate Jim Thompson
fashion: orange and dark graphite grey. They grow nearby our pig pen on bare
It is a relative of the common white button (Agaricus
bisporus) which so many Anglo-Saxons eat for breakfast. Whether the cheez
doodle mushroom is edible or not is unknown. It may resemble a Pholiota
mushroom, but they grow on wood and they never get these dark brownish-grey
gills. I ask our worldwide readers to kindly report if you have seen it,
since I have an incomplete view of its worldwide range.
In many Anglo-Saxon societies mushrooms are traditionally
considered manifestations of the poisonous and evil liquids from the
underworld. Two generations ago Swedes used to be mycophobic too, treating
mushrooms as ‘food for swine’ or the ‘creations from the bloody froth of
Sleipner’ (Odin’s horse). Luckily, Swedish society developed and according
to some studies about 40% of the modern Swedes pick wild mushrooms at least
once a year. Thai cultures are more advanced in this respect, resembling
French and Italian traditions dating back to the Romans and their culinary
excellence. Ketsanee has told me fantastic stories about how she and the
elders would go to the forests and pick mushrooms, and how to cook them and
how to treat poisonings. www.dokmaigarden.co.th.