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Shaggy Parasol

Shaggy parasol, also referred to as rhacodes, or formerly lepiota rhacodes is a large edible mushroom with a fleshy white cap, brown scales and a much appreciated flavor. The name includes the mushroom species Chlorophyllum rhacodes and Chlorophyllum brunneum, and is mostly found in North America and Europe. Chlorophyllum brunneum is also found in parts of Australia. These mushrooms contain toxins and should not be consumed until properly cooked. Popular dishes made with shaggy parasols are noodle dishes and kugel.

 

The mushroom has a slender stipe that is bulbous at the bottom, and of reddish discoloration and pungent smell. The cap is egg shaped and fattens with maturity. The length of the stipe is between 10 and 20 cm and the diameter of the cap is between 7.5 and 20cm.

 

 

Culinary Uses

These mushrooms are best cooked into casserole dishes, meat loaves and pot roasts. They go well with rich sauces, and resemble meat on being cut into thick slices and then fried or grilled. The liquid obtained from re-soaking dried shaggy parasol can also be used for adding flavor to soups, stews and sauces.

 

 

Popular Cooking Methods

Shaggy parasol mushrooms can be cooked by frying, sautéing, grilling or baking.

 

 

Popular Shaggy Parasol Recipes

  • Noodle Dishes: The mushrooms can be sautéed with garlic, basil and thyme and then stewed in their own juice to be included in noodle dishes.

 

  • Mushroom Potato Kugel: This is a Middle Eastern dish to which the shaggy parasol lends a strong flavor. It can be served as an accompaniment with rib roast or lamb leg.

 

 

Wine Accompaniment

Heavy red wines like cabernet, bordeaux and burgundy go well with shaggy parasol dishes.

 

 

Preserving

Rhacodes are best preserved by drying. Dried rhacodes keep well for a year or two, and the flavor mellows and improves with aging. They should not be dried at very high temperatures.

 

 

Trivia

  • Shaggy parasol can cause gastric upset if consumed undercooked or raw.
  • Young shaggy parasol mushrooms should not be confused with Chlorophyllum molybdites which are poisonous and have strong resemblance with the former.