Welcome to the Mushroom Mart . . . Okay, so it’s more of a forest, but Fungus Forest was already taken by a podiatrist down the road. We are very serious about the pigs though because they can ruin our entire crop. If you try to sneak one on then we’ll have to confiscate it and all you get is invited to a totally unrelated bacon breakfast the following weekend. Now, what are you looking for?
Sadly, we don’t have any magical mushrooms of either variety. At best, we have created unique species with various tastes and textures. Some of them are toxic, which is why we give you this list and a stern lecture on not eating anything you pick. We do this because we don’t trust our customers to get things right and avoid the dangerous ones. To be clear, those are still for sale because there are ways to prepare them and remove the toxins. It’s something we do for free of any of those species gets your attention. Be rather mean to sell you one and charge extra to make sure you don’t die of it. There will be people out there to help if you get lost or have any questions. Please take one of those partitioned baskets and I’ll help you plan your route. Don’t mix your mushrooms because each species has a different price by the pound.
Now, you want the smallest mushrooms, which would be our Flea Knee Fungi. These are found in the western region on rocks that are slightly damp on one side and covered in dry moss on the other. Each mushroom is the size of a flea, but they gather in thick patches that resemble lichen. You can identify them by their sweet smell and trust me when I tell you that they pack a powerful taste. Some people say it’s similar to cinnamon, but I think it’s closer to paprika. You also want one of our largest mushrooms and those are found on the underside of the northern cliffs. We call them Bat Truffles and they can grow to the size of a watermelon. Anything larger than that tends to fall and explodes on impact to send spores. There is a limit of one per customer because of the size and it takes a year for them to grow to maturity.
Medicinal mushrooms aren’t really one of our specialties because you have to get a lot of licenses for those. All we can afford at this time are two types. The Air Stalk is found around our ponds and are long-stemmed with an upside-down cap. You can tell them apart from similar mushrooms by the scales on the stalk. Boil that in seltzer and drink it whole to handle spastic colon episodes. The only side-effect is a little seepage from the bellybutton, but that goes away after a good night’s sleep. Our other medicine is the Stomper, which is a flat mushroom that is mostly found in the east. It’s difficult to get out of the ground because it’s almost like something stomped it into place. This one isn’t for eating, but you can turn it into a powder that cures psoriasis. Put a little on a Q-tip and it can help with impacted earwax too, but you need to put hydrogen peroxide in within fifteen minutes. Otherwise, you can get a mini-Stomper stuck on your eardrum and that’s a painful removal surgery.
Everything else on your list is pretty standard. Rum Creminis are on the pine tree roots and you’ll find Broth Morels along the fences. Salad types are scattered about, but I highly recommend the Lettuce Caps for a good base. Kids do love the Sweet Shiitakes that are in the open plains. There’s a color and taste guide posted there since we have to check every few days to make sure they haven’t switched. Seems every crop is different, which is why we harvest those and put them in those bushels. Guess that’s it since you have your map and basket . . . Did you hear something snort? Damn it, I thought I heard a pig. You go on and I’ll see you when you come out. Yeah, I know the thing is the size of a Buick. That just means I’ll need to whack it with a bigger shovel. Hey, Marlene! Get me the Paul Bunyan from the shed! Happy hunting, mister.