My neighbour brought round edible fungi, including Saffron Milk Caps (Lactarius deliciosus) to share with us. Such generosity! These are an introduced species often found in conjunction with pine forests. One was too large to be good eating, so into the dye pot it went, since its gills are so brilliantly orange–and even more so when cut or crushed.
I could not find a reference to this fungus as a dye plant anywhere so can’t pretend to be surprised that my test cards showed almost no change at all. Perhaps a slightly more golden shade of white/cream. Still… that saffron milk cap was headed for compost in any case and just had a stop in the dye bath on the way there.
Yes, we did eat them, fried in olive oil and garlic with parsley. Reviews ranged from ‘absolutely delicious!’ to ‘I’ll stick to the usual sort but they are OK’ at our dinner table.
2 responses to “Saffron Milk Caps”
Here in very north, where we live (Northern Europe) this mushroom lives with pine trees and is here also very ‘deliciosus’ as the name hints – but it can be used also as dye. It gives with alum mordant by cooking process brownish yellows to (in best cases) oranges. Use old mushrooms, those you are not so enthusiastic to eat. Experiment also with young species and different mordants. Maybe with ammonium, pH or even alcohol.
Succesful experiments, Leenakka
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Thankyou so much for sharing your wisdom, Leenakka. I appreciate it!