Turkey tail mushroom, Brevard, North Carolina
© Bill Gozansky/Alam
Turkey tail mushroom
With an often-colourful flower- or umbrella-shaped body, mushrooms are easy to spot in the wilderness. But mushrooms can also be easy to misidentify. For example, poisonous jack-o'-lantern mushrooms are sometimes misidentified as edible chanterelles. But there are various other types that are primarily used for medicine, such as today's species, turkey tail, named for its likeness, which has been used for treating lung conditions in traditional Chinese medicine. Recent research showed them exhibiting anti-tumour properties and helping fortify the immune system. Many make great meal additions, and from portobello to shiitake mushrooms, there are thousands of edible species out there. Sautéed, stuffed, sliced, on a pizza or in soup, it is time to bring some umami fun(gi) to your plate!