If you've lived in Central New York most of your life and never had a puffball, what are you waiting for? They pop-up in a flash, and before you know it are gone. You have to be very careful when it comes to eating mushrooms from the ground, but puffballs are certainly okay, and encouraged.

The puffball mushroom typically grows as a result of cool nights and warm days. They can be found in cow pastures (not to be confused with magic mushrooms), or damp wooded areas. It's not hard to spot these particular mushrooms due to their size. They're pretty large, and you can cook them in multiple ways. If you are a frequent mushroom cooker you know what you're doing, but one local puffball guru says he prefers two methods of puffball cuisine.

Joseph Leonard
Joseph Leonard

Joseph Leonard of Utica has been collecting puffballs since he was a young child growing up in Mohawk, NY. He is a huge fan of the local fungi, and is somewhat of a connoisseur. He says, "you can bread them with egg and breadcrumbs, or just fry them up with butter. They're rich and delicious." The puffball alone is typically flavorless, and will take the flavor of whatever you use to cook it in.

According to the 'Wild About Mushrooms' website, you have to follow a few procedures to ensure you are in fact eating the edible puffball. The article states,

Most puffballs are safe to eat, although rare reactions have been reported. Assuming you have obtained reliable puffballs, you should sitll follow these steps before eating them:


1. They must be all-white inside. Any shade of yellow or purple makes them inedible or upsetting.

2. When cut, they must have a uniform internal consistency. The external appearance of immature Amanita species is similar to puffballs. However, the cap and gills of these unexpanded mushrooms become apparent when the egg-shaped fungi are cut in half. The Amanita genus includes the most poisonous species of mushrooms.

For a full set of instructions and safety tips, you can visit the ''Wild About Mushrooms' website. If you happen to find one of these wild delicacies, enjoy!

MORE: Check Out These Amazing Carvings from The Great Utica Pumpkin Carve

More From Big Frog 104