At some point, I started taking photos of mushrooms when I saw them around the area, and have now become very excited to find new species. It’s like an easter egg hunt… and you never know what you might find. I have no idea how many species are native to the area.
Montezuma/Cabuya has a mushroom expert living here, Dennis Church, who used to grow them professionally for food in Vermont.
If anyone can identify these species, let me know and I’ll credit you on the website. And feel free to send me your mushroom photos, as long as they are something better or different than what I already have online here. Thanks!
Edible Costa Rica Mushrooms
A local expert on local medicinals told me that the oyster mushrooms we have growing here in the area are edible, but don’t taste very good. However, my friend Hari recently picked some and cooked them with a bit of olive oil and garlic and said they were delicious. Many edible mushrooms don’t taste very good raw but change a lot when they’re cooked, and can absorb the flavors they’re cooked with. See below for photos of the local oyster mushrooms. At Rancho Delicioso, we’re going to try to grow them.
Organic Mushroom Supplier
If you’re looking for a supplier for edible organic mushrooms, I know of one in Costa Rica. He grows four varieties, including oyster mushrooms. He “grows to order” so you’ll need to place an order and wait a few weeks for them to grow. Contact: Luis Coronado and phone number 8386-7472.
Giant Costa Rica Mushroom
As you might expect in the rainforest, mushrooms in Costa rica can occasionally grow to gigantic size. The largest one I’ve ever seen grew spontaneously at the roots of a Melina tree in Delicias, Montezuma at the Rancho Delicioso eco village. See a video of it and more photos here: Giant Mushrooms
Many people have asked me about how to find and recognize them. First of all, eating wild mushrooms is incredibly dangerous. My father, a physician in the U.S. has had two patients die from eating the wrong type, from catastrophic liver failure. I recently heard a tourist in Cabuya ate the wrong type and was flown, dying, to CIMA hospital, and no one knows what happened to him. So please don’t experiment with this. However, for the sake of information, here are the rules of mushroom picking:
1. The mushroom must be growing in COW MANURE. Not horse manure or anything else.
2. The mushroom must have a RING around the stem.
3. The mushroom must turn BLUE when you squeeze any part of it, which indicates the presence of psilocybin. If it’s not clearly blue, don’t consider ingesting it!
There are horribly toxic mushrooms that look nearly identical to the “magic” mushrooms, and apparently the poisonous ones always violate one of the above three rules, so don’t get into wishful thinking. It’s not worth it!
Yellow Mushrooms that will open up within a day – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Green Shelf Mushrooms – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Tiny bright shiny red mushrooms – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Yellow fungus/mushroom growing from within a rotting log – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Hallucinogenic Mushroom growing on a cow pie – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Black fungus balls growing on rotting tree stump – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
A local “oyster mushroom” variety (supposedly edible but not tasty) – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Shelf Mushrooms – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
Giant toadstool with ring – Photographer: Geoff McCabe
My new favorite restaurant, Clandestina is not to be missed by food lovers staying anywhere near to Montezuma. Established in March 2015, Clandestina is the new kid on the block. The Oregon/Tico collaboration is a winner among locals and travelers alike, with artisan craft beers, made onsite by Butterfly Brewing Co. and delicious, exciting […]