Giant puffball mushrooms.

We’ve got some giant puffball mushrooms growing here.

Annie Encounters a Puffball

Here’s a photo of a cluster of them with a penny set on top for scale.

Giant Puffball Mushrooms

When I saw them, I wondered why there were a bunch of volleyballs scattered around. Calvatia gigantea turns out to be relatively common and, according to several sources, edible and tasty. Once you’ve verified that the interior is firm and white, it can be battered and pan fried, or used like tofu. It smells strongly like your standard grocery store issue mushrooms. Which, unfortunately, I detest, so no giant puffball will be appearing on the household menu anytime soon.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

9 replies on “Giant puffball mushrooms.”

  1. Oh you are missing out on a great mushroom experience. Pluck and slice them 1/2 thick, saute in butter, finish with salt, pepper, and handful of fresh parsley. Serve with a venison filet and bottle of cab franc!

    This is a mild mushroom, but far tastier than those store bought items.

  2. Three of the five of them are now spoken for. And, yeah, I kinda would like to wait for one of them to go to spore. :) I’ve read that the spores are mildly toxic, so an N95 respirator is in order. Lucky we have a hundred of them stockpiled at home. :)

  3. my wife and I eat a variety of wild mushrooms, and puffballs are a safe mushrooms to start with provided that it really is a puffball. Basically if you foolw the very good advice above (solid, completely white inside, no mushroom parts), then you can’t go wrong. there’s only one poisonous puffball and it is purple inside. Nonetheless, when trying any species of mushroom for the first time, cook a tiny bit up first and save the rest in your fridge.

    We haven’t found the giant puffballs quite as tasty as some of the other puffball species. there’s a common one with brown skin that’s really nice. We trade some of our mushrooms every year to the local store for free beer.

    Some of our personal favorites are chicken mushroom, chanterelles, milkys and morels. Btw, whoever said it was morel season is totally wrong. They are a spring mushroom.

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