Chicken of the woods on a Yew

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Full Member
Mar 3, 2020
Caerphilly, South Wales, UK
So everyone says not to pick CoW from a Yew because of the risk of transfer of the very poisonous Taxines from tree to fungi. And frankly I am not about to take a gamble, especially as I've already had a few heart attacks!

Now I have several books on fungi and one go to book called Edible Mushrooms. This week I've been looking everywhere for the stuff but it remains elusive!

So reading up on it, in particular making sure I was looking at thee right trees i saw the following in the book.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
I eat Yew arials, but I'm careful about the inner seed.
I use Yew wood, but I'm careful not to breath in the sawdust, and I wash my hands when I'm done.
I use Yew leaves as a natural dye, but I dispose of the dye bath with great care and I scrub everything I use, and scour the wool too.
I have a beautiful Yew quaich, that has been well used over the years with no ill effects.

Would I eat CotW growing on a Yew tree ?
No, I wouldn't.
I'm just not hungry enough to want to attempt it. Especially since if it's growing on one tree in the area it's bound to be on others.....that I don't need to be so careful with.

My tuppence ha'penny worth :)

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Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
The nice big crop I found a couple of weeks ago (now, sadly, demolished by sheep) was on an old wild cherry :)

I would not try it from a Yew however despite my respect for Geoff. I'm not sure of the legal aspect of experimenting on guests with a 'probable' toxic substance though :)
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Full Member
Jan 11, 2011
Quite a few years ago I was in a TV cooking competition and foraged COTW was our starter, just shallow fried in wild garlic butter and then served on a nice focaccia to soak up the juices.
I was banned from using it because the judge, Lloyd Grossman, had never eaten it before & his manager had seen the 10% reaction figure quoted above!
One of the production assistants was sent to Waitrose to forage some wild mushrooms & returned with Matsutake, Shiitake and Shimeiji mushrooms. Awesome foraging skills Charlotte!

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