Guide to Blewit Mushroom (Clitocybe nuda): How to Identify, Grow, Harvest, Store, and Eat them
Are you looking to work with Clitocybe nuda, the exotic white mushroom found in North America’s Pacific Northwest? In this Ultimate Guide to Clitocybe Nuda, we will discuss everything from how to identify and grow Clitocybe nuda and its many different uses.
We’ll discuss shroom harvesting season, storing them correctly, and cooking with them using simple recipes, so if you have ever been curious about Clitocybe nuda – it’s time you discovered why it is a trendy choice among novice and experienced mycologists!
If you are curious about growing edible mushrooms or want to learn more about a tasty new source of nutrition for your diet, this is the perfect article for you!
What are clitocybe nuda?
Clitocybe nuda, commonly known as “wood blewit”, is a mushroom typically found growing in the wild across North America, Europe, and even Australia. It has a recognisable mauve cap that makes it an attractive collector’s item for those interested in foraging. Additionally, its culinary properties make it an ideal ingredient for many different dishes. However, confusion between Clitocybe nuda and poisonous species can mean it should be identified with the help of a reliable guide before consumption.
How to Identify Clitocybe nuda
Identifying Clitocybe nuda can be tricky, but it can be done with the right tools and a keen eye.
Armed with this information and some practice, you, too, can become an expert at identifying Clitocybe nuda! The mushroom has a broad, white cap or pileus with a central depression.
Its gills are white and unusually decurrent, meaning they run down the stem of the mushroom. It also has a white stem that is thick and fleshy at the base.
Clitocybe nuda features a sweet aroma and is one of the most common agaric fungi in temperate regions during its seasonal periods—typically late summer to early autumn.
Clitocybe nuda Look-Alikes
Clitocybe nuda is a highly sought-after mushroom species commonly known as the Wood Blewit. Many novice mycophiles may confuse it with its more common look-alikes, such as Lepista nuda and Marasmius oreades. It can be challenging to tell them apart because of their similar appearance, but there are distinct characteristics to observe with each mushroom species.
For example, Clitocybe nuda has a distinctive blue tinge on the lower ring or “skirt” of the gills, whereas most other mushrooms in this group lack any coloration along their edges.
Additionally, the cap of Clitocybe nuda is usually rounder than its counterparts.
By familiarizing yourself with these details and reading up on the best practices for identifying wild mushrooms, you can determine reliably whether or not you’ve encountered this elusive species while out hunting—or, better yet, cultivating your own!
Where Does Clitocybe nuda Grow?
Clitocybe nuda can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. A common fungus grows in nutrient-rich environments such as deciduous and coniferous forest floors, compost heaps, and grassy meadows. The mushroom thrives in moist areas of soil with lots of organic matter.
Clitocybe nuda is typically spotted during the months of late summer to mid-autumn while searching through wooded areas.
Commonly mistaken for fairy rings in grass lawns, the mushrooms can range from white to cream or yellowish coloration with a slightly off-white or brown rim along the cap edge. If you are lucky enough to find these highly sought-after edible saprophytes, do plenty of research beforehand!
What Does Clitocybe nuda Taste Like?
Clitocybe nuda is a diverse mushroom with a wide range of flavors, making it a favorite among many chefs. Its taste can vary greatly; some describe its almond-like flavor, while others find its earthy notes more prominent. Depending on how the mushrooms are cooked, they can also take on subtle smoky or salty tones.
Moreover, the texture and firmness of Clitocybe nuda will depend on when and how you prepare them – freshly picked mushrooms foraging in the woods are often firmer and more intense in taste than cultivated ones, which have been aged longer. No matter how you cook it, this mushroom will bring out the best in any dish.
How to Grow clitocybe nuda
Growing Clitocybe nuda can be an exciting experience for avid foragers! As Clitocybe nuda reproduces via wind dispersal, it is relatively easy to cultivate and even begin a small crop of your own! The mushroom prefers moist environments with lots of shade and adequate drainage. They should also be watered regularly, preferably using rainwater.
Manure or other organic composts can also help improve soil fertility. The best time to gather spores or mycelium is in late spring or early summer when conditions for fostering growth are most favourable. Still, spores can also be collected in autumn, especially in areas with milder climates.
How to Clean Clitocybe nuda
It is important to properly clean Clitocybe nuda mushrooms before consuming them to avoid any dirt or impurities that may be present. This can be done by washing the mushroom with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove dirt and debris.
If a brush is used during cleaning, ensure it’s soft enough not to damage or puncture the mushroom. When cutting up the mushroom, use a sharp knife to ensure a precise cut, and use separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables.
Lastly, store the cleaned mushroom in airtight containers so no odor will affect its taste. Following these steps will ensure a safe and tasty experience when enjoying this unique mushroom!
How to Store clitocybe nuda
Storing Clitocybe nuda is quite a simple task. Once harvested, the mushrooms should be placed in a paper bag or wrapping and stored inside a refrigerator for up to 7 days. To extend their shelf life, the mushrooms can also be dried out by air-drying without direct sunlight or using a food dehydrator.
Additionally, dried Clitocybe nuda can be ground into powder, frozen in airtight containers, or pickled before being stored in the fridge for future use. Whatever method you choose to store Clitocybe nuda should always be kept away from moisture and heat sources as this may compromise their freshness and flavour.
How Do You Eat Clitocybe nuda?
Eating Clitocybe nuda can be a delicious, sensory experience if you know how to pick the right mushrooms. When foraging for Clitocybe nuda, it is important to look for mushrooms with white and thick gills, light yellow-white caps, and pure white flesh.
While there are wide varieties of Clitocybe nuda, the meadow mushroom is known to be especially crispy and flavorful. To prepare Clitocybe nuda, slice them into thin strips and gently sauté in butter until golden brown.
Serve these delicious mushrooms with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice, or add them to omelets, pasta, risotto, or other creative dishes. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can make a meal from this woody delicacy that will surely please your taste buds!
How to Cook clitocybe nuda
For those looking to add a new and delicious mushroom to their cooking repertoire, Clitocybe nuda is the way to go. Not only is this edible mushroom quickly becoming a gourmet favourite, but it is also relatively easy to identify.
However, preparation can make all the difference in unlocking its full flavour potential. When cooking with Clitocybe nuda, its earthy aromas are most complimented when sautéed with meats and spices. You can also make wood blewit mushrooms soup by sautéing them in butter and adding salt and pepper as per your taste. It’s truly delectable!
Enjoying Clitocybe nuda can even be taken one step further with the cultivation process by growing your patch at home! Whether you go out hunting or attempt to grow on your own, start exploring the taste of this mushroom today!
Health and Nutritional Benefits of Clitocybe nuda
Clitocybe nuda is truly an underrated mushroom with many beneficial properties – this is why it’s referred to as the “wood blewit” by some. Its high nutritional content has increased in popularity over the past few years. It’s also easier to identify than other common mushrooms due to its bright white colour and distinct V-shape gills on its underside.
Not only is it considered edible, but its health benefits include having a high amount of vitamin C and B vitamins, making it great for boosting immunity. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also assist the body in detoxifying and purging harmful toxins from the body.
As such, it makes for a fantastic addition to a diet full of nutritious benefits.
There are a few precautions to take when handling Clitocybe nuda for example, as you must be sure about its identity before consuming it. Once identified, You can decide to eat it raw or cooked according to your taste preference. However, the mushroom is quite delicious with an interesting texture.
With proper storage and prior preparation, this mushroom can last up to a year in the refrigerator until consumed. Thus, this ultimate guide on cleaning, identifying, storing, eating, and growing Clitocybe nuda should be a great reference for anyone exploring the wonderful world of mushrooms!