Brooklyn, NY. I found this little puffball (Calvatia gigantea) on campus yesterday, sitting next to a giant Agaricus, and soon discovered a new culinary way to appreciate it: in a Chinese stir-fry (think broccoli and tofu in garlic sauce, with the puffball substituting for the tofu). The sliced and diced puffball adds a slightly mushroomy, almost creamy-centered texture to the dish. I served it over black rice.
Note: Edible puffballs should be pure white like buffalo mozzarella on the inside–if they’re green-black they’ve either gone to spore or they’re false puffs.
Also, check out Mark Vonnegut’s charming “The Mistaken Mushroom” in last Sunday’s NY Times Magazine. You always want to be certain of your fungi before you ingest it.
The next Urban Forager is due out this Saturday, and it may just feature this airy darling…