What A Blue Bruise On A Mushroom Probably Means

Mushrooms are typically either adored or hated, with folks rarely having an in-between admiration for fungi. Mushroom advocates could argue that it's impossible to hate the food when there are over 50,000 different species of mushrooms out there, according to IKONET. In the defense of mushroom haters, only about 20 varieties are worth eating, as the others lack zest and "can be tough, woody, gelatinous, give off an unpleasant smell, or taste bad."

One of the perks of loving umami flavors is that mushrooms are right under our fingertips, or feet in this case. Foraging for mushrooms is a blast and a great way to save some money at the grocery store. Hunting for wild food has bounced back as a popular hobby in recent years (via Schmidts) with sites like Airbnb even featuring foraging experiences to attract travelers. When searching for mushrooms, it's important to keep in mind just how many varieties are hiding in the woods.

With so many different-looking kinds, it can be tough to differentiate between the tasty and the not so tasty (or potentially dangerous). Mushroom Appreciation advises foragers to keep an eye out for any noticeable colors that appear after a mushroom has bruised in order to identify the varietal and avoid adding anything poisonous or hallucinogenic to their dinner.

Blue bruising fungi could mean you're in for quite the trip

If you hit the foraging jackpot, you may want to take a look at whether your mushrooms bruise or bleed blue, says Mushroom Appreciation. Color is a tricky indicator when it comes to identifying mushroom species considering a lot of other factors play in, but it can definitely guide you in the right direction. While there are plenty of well-known mushrooms that bruise a blue hue, many will make your stomach turn or take your mind on a hallucinogenic trip.

Boletes, a type of mushroom with a large cap and sponge-like appearance, explains Mushroom Expert, often bruise blue. These can be a dangerous find since they can often make you sick, so the safest bet is to avoid them altogether. Hallucinogenic mushrooms, or magic mushrooms, do bruise blue, Psychedelic Review confirms. Although, the poisonous boletes are a fine example that not all blue-bruising mushrooms will give you that so-called magical result. If the mushroom not only bruises a blueish color but also has a brownish-purple spore print and a clear layer on top, known as a "semi-gelatinous separable pellicle" says Mushroom Observer, it's safe to say you've found yourself a mushroom that will take you on a journey that will last a lot longer than dinner.