I am new to this forum and although I have been foraging for many years now and have admired the Amanita muscaria from a distance, I am new to utilizing this particular fungi. My questions have to do with cleaning and processing. As it has been raining quite a bit here (winter in AUS) most of the specimens I found were fairly covered in soil, bugs and forest debris.
Question 1: Is it important to try NOT to wipe off the remnants of the universal veil on the cap? A lot of dirt and sand was intermingled with it/them and in order to brush the soil off I have also had to remove some of those white spots, does it effect future potency at all if they are absent? Some of the mushrooms I found had little or no spots left on them anyway due to age and excessive rain I imagine.
Question 2: Once they are finished dehydrating, I have noticed in a couple videos that people while processing have been getting rid of the dried gills from under the cap, is this necessary? Do the gills no longer serve any purpose in terms of adding them to an oil or tincture. In essence should I be scraping the gills off or is it okay to leave them in the mix?
I was very fortunate to come upon a mother lode of these beauties yesterday, which actually brings a further question: Can I hope to assume that this area that I located will again be a fruiting paradise next year and in seasons to come?? I dropped a pin in my maps just in case, it was a fair hike and very easy to get lost in that part of the pine plantations
I look forward to your feedback, many thanks!
Feel free to discuss what you want.
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