Twelve edible mushrooms of the United States/Lactarius deliciosus

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Twelve edible mushrooms of the United States by Thomas Taylor
Lactarius deliciosus

Lactarius deliciosus, "orange milk mushroom".

Figure 1, illustrating a specimen of Lactarius deliciosus (from original text).

This mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus) is highly recommended by different authors. It belongs to the Lactars or milk-bearing group. As a group the milk-bearing mushrooms are generally viewed with suspicion, but the species deliciosus receives general commendation as an esculent. It is easily distinguished from any other of the group by the orange or red color of the milk which exudes from it when cut or broken. The flesh changes on exposure to the atmosphere, as does the milk also, and becomes a dull green color. This mushroom has a firm, juicy flesh; its richly colored orange top is commonly, but not invariably, marked with zones of a deeper color. The stem is often spotted red; the gills or lamellae are the same color as the cap or pileus. It is found in plantations of fir and pine and in swampy woods. A poisonous mushroom of this subgenus similar in shape and size can be readily distinguished from it by its white milk, which does not change. The flavor of Lactarius deliciosus when cooked is said to resemble that of " kidney stew."

Method of cooking. — The rich gravy it produces is its chief characteristic, hence it commends itself for sauces or as an ingredient in soups. It requires delicate cooking, as it becomes tough if kept over the tire until its juice has evaporated. Baking is perhaps the best method of preparing this mushroom for the table.