Cap Flesh (“Context”) Filters – Description

I have taken pains to separate the “cap flesh” from the “stem flesh” because they have different features in many mushrooms. There is no set of filters for “stem flesh” only because it isn’t listed in a lot of the book entries. It’s tempting to assume that means there’s no difference between the two for those mushrooms, but we instead chose to limit the filter to caps and to include stem-flesh characteristics into the text descriptions.

Cap Flesh Color. If your cap flesh is anything other than white or yellow, look in the “Tells”. That’s a unique enough feature that it should be prominently listed. Cap flesh described as “Pale Yellow” in the books does not get screened out if you check the filter for “white,” but there’s probably a note about that in the text.

  • Cap Flesh is White.
  • Cap Flesh is Yellow.

Cap Flesh Staining. It’s notable but not rare to see a mushroom that first stains one color and then “resolves” to a different shade. That fact will appear in the text descriptions. Both shades are used for filter purposes; i.e., if a mushroom stains blue but resolves to gray, it would pass through both the “Blue Staining” and “Other Staining” filters.

  •  Cap Flesh Does Not Stain Within 30 Seconds. Note that the full information pages sometimes use the initials “DNS” for “Do Not Stain”.
  • Cap Flesh Stains Blue.
  • Cap Flesh Stains Other than Blue.

Cap Taste Filters. Nip off a small piece of the raw cap (skin, flesh, and pores), give it a thorough chew, and then spit it out. What do you taste? Pretty much every mushroom can taste mild & inoffensive if you get the right specimen or have the right tongue. There’s a large percentage of the population that tastes bitter at a much lower level than most people, for example. So there’s no filter for “normal.” These are for a taste that strikes you as distinctive.

  •  Cap Tastes Nasty – a/k/a bitter, acrid, astringent, pungent, rotten, peppery, etc. This is the category for all those mushrooms that taste like they shouldn’t be edible (which isn’t true for all of them, by the way). I’ve lumped them together to avoid confusion over whether the nasty taste in your mouth is “bitter”, “astringent”, or “peppery”. Those words have meanings, but we don’t all use the words in the same way.
  • Cap Tastes Sour or Acidic.
  • Cap Tastes Sweet or Nutty.