This is not a bad B movie premise…or rather, it goes far beyond that.
My dear friend Edward says that mushrooms first came to Earth from Outer Space.
He told me that the first spore arrived with meteors that struck the earth, carrying the beginnings of these fruiting funguses. Fungi? Yes, he is, but that’s a different story.
There are huge, massive, gigundous fungi that spread (some for miles)under the ground. What we know as “mushrooms” are the fruit, springing up after rains, when the weather and soil conditions are right.
The kinds that we can safely eat are just a few of the many that are growing in the wild. Most are pretty toxic to our systems in a liver and life threatening sort of way, so do NOT go out looking for myco-goodies in the cowpats in spring. Those who study such things (mycology) will tell you that its safest to eat the mushrooms that are commercially grown. Liver failure is not a pretty thing, so stick with the varieties known to be safe…and ever so yummy!
That’s not such limiting advice, either, as there are many wonderful tasty varieties of edible mushrooms. Everybody has seen the button mushrooms sold at grocery stores and beloved on pizza. But there’s so much more! There are many kinds available between the big chain grocers, organic grocers, farmer’s markets and specialty markets. Shitake, Oyster Kings, and Lion’s Beard—some sound like rock bands or something out of Alice’s Wonderland. I like them best when sauteed in butter and garlic. But then, most foods are improved by a heated discourse with butter and garlic. But maybe not ice cream or pancakes!!