Shaggy Inkcap Mushrooms

Shaggy Inkcaps out in force…

It’s been a great October so far for Shaggy Inkcaps (Coprinus comatus). People have sent me loads of pictures and I’ve picked a couple dozen young ones for my pan too.

I recently had a picture sent to me showing someones great collection of Shaggy Inkcaps along with an equally impressive collection of something else. I wasn’t quite sure at the time and I couldn’t tell from the photos, but after a recent discovery of a large troop of Coprinus comatus, I realised that they too were not alone!

Scattered here and there with the Inkcaps were small, young brown caps which I suspected were Weeping Widows (Lacrymaria lacrymabunda / Click here for more information). I checked with all the characteristics and true enough, they were.

I don’t know if this is just coincidence or if they benefit from each other in any way. Maybe they are fighting for territory? I haven’t found any information to support this or otherwise. It’s a mystery to me. Anyway, I didn’t take the Weeping Widows (even though edible), just the lovely young Inkcaps, which are lovely to eat.

Follow this link to read more about my first post on The Shaggy Inkcap. It features extra information and identification features.

Weeping Widows with Inkcaps

Top: Shaggy Inkcaps young and old. Bottom: Shaggy Inkcaps with Weeping Widow mushrooms / Weeping Widow close-ups.

Oh, and one last thing. When you pick those lovely young Shaggy Inkcaps, get them in the pan as soon as possible. Don’t make the same mistake I did and forget about them. The picture below shows my bountiful collection turn into ink after a day or two. Oops!

Shaggy Inkcap Ink

Whoopsy! My Shaggy Inkcaps were left only a day. On opening the temporary storage box, there was a defiant spillage! Lesson learnt…

10 replies
  1. Ruth Moore
    Ruth Moore says:

    I love Shaggy inkcaps best when young sauted in butter. Also parasol mushrooms which should be out soon.

    Reply
  2. Denise
    Denise says:

    Clean the shaggy ink caps as soon as you pick them, they start to turn almost immediately.
    A quick brush off to clean, split them down the centre and put them on a paper towel on an open plate. A full dinner plate would take 40 seconds in the microwave, they should be slightly steaming. Put more paper towels under and over them to absorb as much water as possible, this stops them going watery and tasteless. The microwave action stops the deterioration in it’s tracks. Cut off any black edges but it’s not totally necessary, they add a tang to the taste. They can now be kept in the fridge, I put mine between dry paper towels in a lidded dish and apart from checking to remove any water they are good for about a week. They could be frozen but I haven’t tried that.

    Reply
    • Lusia Suszek
      Lusia Suszek says:

      Hi, I think I over cleaned as the mushrooms were near a road & I was worried they might be dirty. I chopped & sauteed but they went very watery. I will still use them & assume they will be OK for a day or two in fridge? This is the first time I have found any on my own so hopefully they are Shaggy Inkcaps! I will try your method next time.

      Reply
      • Denise
        Denise says:

        The fridge is your enemy, I rush them inside, clean and slice and then straight into the microwave no messing. I admit it does help that my patch is in my garden. You’ve got about an hour before they start turning I’ve found and that includes the closed ones. The slightly or just opened ones even less time. This year I tested, you’ve got to get them to steam slightly before you’re good and dry them off really well, they will continue to bleed water. Mine lasted just over a week in the fridge and I changed the paper tissues twice. We had a slap up meal with steak and ink caps.

        Reply
      • Denise
        Denise says:

        I only wash any realy dirty ones under the tap, a paper towel or a soft brush is better. Make sure you don’t get any water into the gill area otherwise they soak it up and are really soggy and only good for cooking in a little bit of milk. If you fry them straight away make sure it’s a really hot pan to burn off the excess water, and there is loads in them, before adding a tiny bit of oil. If you put them into an oiled pan they spit like mad and make a huge mess. They are well worth it though.

        Reply
    • J C Harris
      J C Harris says:

      Personally I think (not from experience) that they wouldn’t freeze well due to their delicate nature. Wood Blewits are more robust with tough flesh and are a late autumn/winter mushroom that can survive freezing conditions. But I could be proven wrong here – lets see if anyone leaves further comments. :)

      Reply

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