Lycoperdon Perlatum, also called warted puffball, common puffball, devil's snuff-box and gem-studded puffball, is an off-white colored puffball mushroom with spines or 'jewels' at the top that easily come off by rubbing. The puffball has white internal flesh and is eaten when young, and is mostly cooked by dipping in egg or other batter and frying.
The mushroom is 3 to 7cm tall and 1.5 to 6cm wide, and becomes brown and releases spores on aging. It is pear shaped with a flattened top. The mushroom grows in grassy clearings of forests or gardens, fields and roadsides. It can be found in Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia.
Common puffball can be sliced and fried in a batter or in eggs and breadcrumbs. It may also be used to prepare soups. Since the puffballs taste so good with eggs, they are also referred to as 'breakfast mushrooms'. Their taste is bland and requires generous use of seasonings. Common puffball can be eaten only when young, as the gleba develops into spores on maturing.
Preferred Cooking Methods
The mushrooms are commonly cooked by sautéing, frying in batter or boiling/simmering to prepare soups.
Popular Lycoperdon Perlatum Recipes
- Egg Coated Puffball: Slices of puffball mushrooms are dipped in egg and then coated with breadcrumbs and fried. These can be served with piquant source for the main course. This is one of the most common ways of eating them.
- Parmesan Puffballs: This popular recipe suggests dipping sliced puffball mushrooms in flour, followed by dipping them in egg and cheese, and then sautéing in butter and oil.
- Chicken Puffball Bake: This dish consists of chicken and sautéed puffball mushrooms baked together.
- Sauteed Puffball Mushrooms: This quick side dish can be made by sautéing bite sized pieces of the mushrooms in olive oil, and seasoning with ingredients like salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Lycoperdon Perlatum is called 'poor man's sweatbread as its flavor and texture resembles sweetbread.
- The immature puffs or buttons of the poisonous Amanita mushroom should not be confused with Lycoperdon Perlatum. The former can be identified by the lack of spines or 'jewels'.