I’d like to introduce you to Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, otherwise known as Cat’s Tongue or Toothed Jelly Fungus. This fungus is just as cute as the name implies, it’s literally like a spiky cat’s tongue. It is edible, though raw it is pretty bland and the texture is weird… like jello but without much flavour. I found a large handful of these little guys while out on a walk and brought them home to try them candied. They are so tasty after a coating of sugar and some time in the dehydrator!
I don’t see any information in my books or online about lookalikes, so I think this is a pretty safe one to forage for if you are worried about toxic mushrooms. The body is translucent looking, the top is smooth and either white or light grey, and it is really easy to pinch off at the stem. The best way to identify it apart from the jelly/ghost appearance of the fungus generally, is the little teeth on the underside. The part that looks like a tongue!
I put them into a fine strainer and gave them a gentle wash under cold water to remove dirt. I then laid them out on a paper towel to dry while I put together a really simple syrup.
Candied Cat’s Tongue
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
juice from one lemon
1-2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar until dissolved. Allow to simmer and reduce, thickening the syrup. After about 15 minutes I added the lemon juice and ginger and let it continue to reduce.
When it has thickened enough to stick onto your stirring utensil (when you hold it up the droplets stick on instead of dripping off) remove from heat. Add the mushrooms and stir so they are well covered. I let them sit in the syrup for about 10 minutes before removing them and laying each mushroom out onto a piece of parchment paper (I was actually out of parchment so I used tinfoil.)
Load them into your dehydrator and let it run on the fruit setting for about 12 hours or over night. In the morning they should be dried out but still the consistency of a gummy bear. I had trouble peeling them off the tinfoil, so I turned an element on low and laid the whole sheet of tinfoil on the heat for a minute and then they all slipped off easily.
You can then toss them in powdered sugar if you like, or eat them as is. I was surprised by how tasty they are!! Just like little lemon gummies!
They may not be the most attractive candies on the face of the earth, but they taste great and I love that they are a foraged food. We are coming up on the end of the season for these little guys so take a look for some before it gets too cold out. Good luck!
^ They are great coated in icing sugar!