Viscid Violet Cort

I often see Viscid Violet Cort mushrooms, Cortinarius iodes, growing in the woods near my house.

They look exactly like Smurfette's house with a bright purple color.

Until now I had not ventured to take any home and try them out. All the reports I have read say vague things like, "looks better than it tastes." Or, "there are indications that it is edible, but bitter and not very good. The slime is enough to make us not want to bother."

Viscid means something like, "covered with a sticky or clammy coating". This mushroom definitely fits the bill. The mushroom has a nearly identical look-alike, but if you lick the slime on the cap and it's not bitter, then as I understand it, you've got Cortinarius iodes on your hands. Or tongue. The slime on the ones I collected tasted like thick water, so I think we're good.

I wiped some of the slime off the caps with a paper towel and sauteed the mushroom caps in extra virgin olive oil with onion, garlic, and fresh thyme. On toast, I found it to have a mild but prominent dark flavor, very pleasant. The essence of what you might expect a random wild mushroom to taste like. It tasted like a dark slimy substance you might pull out of the cavity of a roast chicken. I would call it a pure savory taste, the type of taste that appeals to anyone who likes clams, oysters, escargots, etc., only these mushrooms were a little less gross than any of those things. These could be an excellent supplement to any mushroomy recipe. I look forward to having more!

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