We tend to get a little excited when we discover things whilst walking in the woods - yesterday we discovered our first batch of Scarlet Elf Cups - there were loads of them covering the woodland floor!
They are fairly common in damp, mossy woodland but it's the first time we have found them. These are also edible but are described as having not much flavour - to touch they almost feel like the skin of Edam cheese! They contrast brilliantly against the green moss.
These colourful fungi can be seen from January to April in the UK. We have picked a few but have not tasted them as yet, I'll keep you posted....
Very soon we are going to start putting together a foraging calendar to help you all find edible wild foods throughout the year.
This large fungus is called chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus), also known as the sulphur polypore, is a safe and easily recognised edible mushroom with a soft texture and no gills. The mushroom grows in large brackets and is most commonly found on oak trees, though it is also frequently found on yew, cherry wood, sweet chestnut, and willow. This one was old and decaying so we didn't touch it but it is an edible mushroom, and when cooked becomes a lot like chicken in its texture.
There are plenty of snowdrops around at the moment too.
Scarlet Elf Cup (below).
The forest floor will start to show signs of bluebells and ramsons (wild garlic) soon- again wild garlic is a great free food to forage for which you can add to lots of recipes.
It was a bit of a wet day yesterday but we were pretty pleased with our finds - as the weather starts to change we'll post more about edible wild foods.