In ordinary circumstances, mushrooms are an acquired taste. Some people love them on pizza, salads, or pasta dishes; others can't stand the earthy flavor and rubbery texture. However, it's an undeniable fact that these naturally occurring fungi can provide a great survival food source — but only if you know how to identify them.
Identifying poisonous mushrooms is an essential skill if you ever plan to forage for a meal in the forest. The study of mushrooms and other fungi, also known as mycology, can help you distinguish between edible and deadly species. Often, the two can look nearly identical to the untrained eye — one will provide nutrients, the other will hospitalize you.
Whether you're an expert mycologist and forager, or you don't know the first thing about wild mushrooms, you can test your knowledge with the quiz below. It will show you ten different mushrooms. Some are poisonous, and others are harmless to humans.
If you got 100%, congratulations, you'd be alive and well-fed. If you mis-identified the edible varieties, you'd be hungry but alive. If you mis-identified even a single one of the poisonous mushroom varieties as edible, you'd be severely ill or possibly even dead. Interested in finding out where you went wrong? Click here for the poisonous mushroom quiz answer key.
The point is this: if you aren't absolutely certain about the species of mushrooms you found, do not eat them. When it comes to wild mushrooms, it's always better to be safe than sorry.