It looks like a huge ball and is hard to confuse with anything else. This season, it is a hit among mushroom pickers, who write on social media groups that their dream is to finally find a giant skullcap.
Those who succeeded boast about photos of huge, white mushrooms. Others ask for tips on where to look for skullcaps. The lucky ones share recipes for preparing mushrooms, and the favorite among them are large slices of skullcap fried like pork chops.
Giant skullcap – what kind of mushroom is it?
The giant skullcap is also known as the giant puffball. So far, it has not been very popular in Poland and is very often destroyed. The skullcap is not necessarily found in the forest – it most often appears in meadows, pastures, but also in parks and gardens. It grows on fertile and moist soils from July to September. Currently, it can be legally collected, but it is worth knowing that until quite recently (until 2014) it was considered a strictly protected species in Poland.
The fruiting bodies of the giant skullcap can reach sizes exceeding one meter in circumference. According to the State Forests, one of the largest known fruiting bodies of the skullcap was found in 1955 in northern Bohemia. It was 46 cm high, its circumference was 212 cm and its weight was 20.8 kg.
Is the giant skullcap edible?
Young fruiting bodies of the skullcap are edible. Young, however, does not mean small. A young skullcap is easy to recognize by its appearance. Young fruit bodies have a light white coating, older ones darken and become olive-yellow. The difference can also be seen when you cut the mushroom, which is completely filled with pulp inside. In young mushrooms it is white, in older mushrooms it turns yellow – such a mushroom should not be eaten.
The mushroom has a slightly mushroom-like taste and is considered by many to be one of the tastiest mushrooms. There is certainly no doubt about one thing: one mushroom is enough to make dinner for the whole family.