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Pigs Ear Mushroom

A considerable variation in height has been reported for the receptacle, ranging from 8 to 20 cm (3.1 to 7.9 in) tall. The base of the fruit bodies are attached to the substrate by rhizomorphs (thickened cords of mycelia). The dark olive-green to olive-brown, foul-smelling sticky gleba covers the inner surface of the receptacle, except near the base. The odor—described as resembling rotting meat—attracts flies, other insects, and, in one report, a scarab beetle (Scarabaeus sacer) that help disperse the spores. The putrid odor—and people’s reaction to it—have been well documented. In 1862 Mordecai Cubitt Cooke wrote “it is recorded of a botanist who gathered one for the purpose of drying it for his herbarium, that he was compelled by the stench to rise during the night and cast the offender out the window.” American mycologist David Arora called the odor “the vilest of any stinkhorn”. The receptacle collapses about 24 hours after its initial eruption from the egg.Clathrus ruber is a species of fungus in the family Phallaceae, and the type species of the genus Clathrus. It is commonly known as the latticed stinkhorn, the basket stinkhorn, or the red cage, alluding to the striking fruit bodies that are shaped somewhat like a round or oval hollow sphere with interlaced or latticed branches. The fungus is saprobic, feeding off decaying woody plant material, and is often found alone or in groups in leaf litter on garden soil, grassy places, or on woodchip garden mulches. Although considered primarily a European species, C. ruber has been introduced to other areas, and now has a wide distribution that includes all continents except Antarctica. The species was illustrated in the scientific literature during the 16th century, but was not officially described until 1729.British mycologist Donald Dring, in his 1980 monograph on the family Clathraceae, wrote that C. ruber was not regarded highly in southern European folklore. He mentions a case of poisoning following its ingestion, reported by Barla in 1858, and notes that Ciro Pollini reported finding it growing on a human skull in a tomb in a deserted church. According to John Ramsbottom, Gascons consider the mushroom a cause of cancer; they will usually bury specimens they find. In other parts of France it has been reputed to produce skin rashes or cause convulsions.

Is pigs ear fungus poisonous?
Pig ears are excellent edible mushrooms that like to grow in calcareous soils and mountainous regions. Unfortunately they are rather rare in Europe. Its violet appearance has also earned it another name – Violet Chanterelle. Cached
The spores are elongated, smooth, and have dimensions of 4–6 by 1.5–2 µm. Scanning electron microscopy has revealed that C. ruber (in addition to several other Phallales species) has a hilar scar—a small indentation in the surface of the spore where it was previously connected to the basidium via the sterigma. The basidia (spore-bearing cells) are six-spored.Before the volva opens, the fruiting body is egg-shaped to roughly spherical, up to 6 cm (2.4 in) in diameter, with a gelatinous interior up to 3 mm (0.1 in) thick. White to grayish in color, it is initially smooth, but develops a network of polygonal marks on the surface prior to opening as the internal structures expand and stretch the peridium taut. The fruit body, or receptacle, bursts the egg open as it expands (a process that can take as little as a few hours), and leaves the remains of the peridium as a cup or volva surrounding the base. The receptacle ranges in color from red to pale orange, and it is often lighter in color approaching the base. The color appears to be dependent upon the temperature and humidity of the environment. The receptacle consists of a spongy network of “arms” interlaced to make meshes of unequal size. At the top of the receptacle, the arms are up to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) thick, but they taper down to smaller widths near the base. A cross-section of the arm reveals it to be spongy, and made up of one wide inner tube and two indistinct rows of tubes towards the outside. The outer surface of the receptacle is ribbed or wrinkled. There are between 80 and 120 mesh holes in the receptacle. The unusual shape of the receptacle has inspired some creative comparisons: David Arora likened it to a whiffleball, while the German Mycological Society—who named C. ruber the 2011 “Mushroom of the Year”—described it as “like an alien from a science fiction horror film”.A young person having eaten a bit of it, after six hours suffered from a painful tension of the lower stomach, and violent convulsions. He lost the use of his speech, and fell into a state of stupor, which lasted for forty-eight hours. After taking an emetic he threw up a fragment of the mushroom, with two worms, and mucus, tinged with blood. Milk, oil, and emollient fomentations, were then employed with success.Like other stinkhorn fungi, C. ruber bioaccumulates the element manganese. It has been postulated that this element plays a role in the enzymatic breakdown of the gleba with simultaneous formation of odorous compounds. Compounds like dimethyl sulfide, aldehydes, and amines—which contribute to the disagreeable odor of the gleba—are produced by the enzymatic decarboxylation of keto acids and amino acids, but the enzymes will only work in the presence of manganese. A chemical analysis of the elemental composition of the gelatinous outer layer, the embryonic receptacle and the gleba showed the gelatinous layer to be richest in potassium, calcium, manganese, and iron ions. Calcium ion stabilizes the polysaccharide gel, protecting the embryonic receptacle from drying out during the growth of the egg. Potassium is required for the gelatinous layer to retain its osmotic pressure and retain water; high concentrations of the element are needed to support the rapid growth of the receptacle. The high concentration of elements suggests that the gelatinous layer has a “placenta-like” function—serving as a reservoir from which the receptacle may draw upon as it rapidly expands.

Clathrus ruber may be distinguished from the closely related tropical species C. crispus by the absence of the corrugated rims which surround each mesh of the C. crispus fruit body. The phylogenetically close species C. chrysomycelinus has a yellow receptacle with arms that are structurally simpler, and its gleba is concentrated on specialized “glebifers” located at the lattice intersections. It is known only from Venezuela to southern Brazil. Clathrus columnatus has a fruit body with two to five long vertical orange or red spongy columns, joined together at the apex.
Like most of the species of the order Phallales, Clathrus ruber is saprobic—a decomposer of wood and plant matter—and is commonly found fruiting in mulch beds. The fungus grows alone or clustered together near woody debris, in lawns, gardens, and cultivated soil.Clathrus ruber was illustrated in 1560 by the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner in his Nomenclator Aquatilium Animantium—Gesner mistook the mushroom for a marine organism. It appeared in a woodcut in John Gerard’s 1597 Great Herball, shortly thereafter in Carolus Clusius’ 1601 Fungorum in Pannoniis Observatorum Brevis Historia, and was one of the species featured in Cassiano dal Pozzo’s museo cartaceo (“paper museum”) that consisted of thousands of illustrations of the natural world.

The fungus has probably been introduced elsewhere, often because of the use of imported mulch used in gardening and landscaping. It may have extended its range northwards into the British Isles or been introduced in the nineteenth century. It now has a mainly southerly distribution in England and has been recorded from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Berkshire, Sussex, Surrey, and Middlesex. In Scotland, it has been recorded from Argyll. It is also known from Wales, the Channel Islands, and Ireland. The fungus also occurs in the United States (California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and New York), Canada, Mexico, and Australasia. The species was also reported from South America (Argentina). In China, it has been collected from Guangdong, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Tibet. Records from Japan are referable to Clathrus kusanoi; records from the Caribbean are probably of C. crispus.
The fungus was first described scientifically in 1729, by the Italian Pier Antonio Micheli in his Nova plantarum genera iuxta Tournefortii methodum disposita, who gave it its current scientific name. The species was once referred to by American authors as Clathrus cancellatus L., as they used a system of nomenclature based on the former American Code of Botanical Nomenclature, in which the starting point for naming species was Linnaeus’s 1753 Species Plantarum. The International Code for Botanical Nomenclature now uses the same starting date, but names of Gasteromycetes used by Christian Hendrik Persoon in his Synopsis Methodica Fungorum (1801) are sanctioned and automatically replace earlier names. Since Persoon used the specific epithet ruber, the correct name for the species is Clathrus ruber. Several historical names of the fungus are now synonyms: Clathrus flavescens, named by Persoon in 1801; Clathrus cancellatus by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and published by Elias Fries in 1823; Clathrus nicaeensis, published by Jean-Baptiste Barla in 1879; and Clathrus ruber var. flavescens, published by Livio Quadraccia and Dario Lunghini in 1990.

What are pig ears used for?
Pig Ears are popular in countries all over the world; China, Phillippines, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Lithuania, Vietnam, Thailand and here in the states. They can be used as appetizers or the main dish. Boiled, stewed, grilled, smoked, pickled, or roasted, these can make a fabulous addition to your menu.
The generic name Clathrus is derived from Ancient Greek κλειθρον or “lattice”, and the specific epithet is Latin ruber, meaning “red”. The mushroom is commonly known as the “basket stinkhorn”, the “lattice stinkhorn”, or the “red cage”. It was known to the locals of the Adriatic hinterland in the former Yugoslavia as veštičije srce or vještičino srce, meaning “witch’s heart”. This is still the case in parts of rural France, where it is known as cœur de sorcière. Clathrus ruber was originally described by Micheli from Italy. It is considered native to southern and central continental Europe, as well as Macaronesia (the Azores and the Canary Islands), western Turkey, North Africa (Algeria), and western Asia (Iran). The fungus is rare in central Europe, and is listed in the Red data book of Ukraine. Although edibility for C. ruber has not been officially documented, its foul smell would dissuade most people from eating it. In general, stinkhorn mushrooms are considered edible when still in the egg stage, and are even considered delicacies in some parts of Europe and Asia, where they are pickled raw and sold in markets as “devil’s eggs”. An 1854 report provides a cautionary tale to those considering consuming the mature fruit body. Dr. F. Peyre Porcher, of Charleston, South Carolina, described an account of poisoning caused by the mushroom:Clathrus ruber is the type species of the genus Clathrus, and is part of the group of Clathrus species known as the Laternoid series. Common features uniting this group include the vertical arms of the receptacle (fruit body) that are not joined together at the base, and the spongy structure of the receptacle. According to a molecular analysis published in 2006, out of the about 40 Phallales species used in the study, C. ruber is most closely related to Aseroe rubra, Clathrus archeri, Laternea triscapa, and Clathrus chrysomycelinus. Pigments responsible for the orange to red colors of the mature fruit bodies have been identified as carotenes, predominantly lycopene and beta-carotene—the same compounds responsible for the red and orange colors of tomatoes and carrots, respectively. Lycopene is also the main pigment in the closely related fungus Clathrus archeri, while beta-carotene is the predominant pigment in the Phallaceae species Mutinus caninus, M. ravenelii, and M. elegans. The fruit body initially appears like a whitish “egg” attached to the ground at the base by cords called rhizomorphs. The egg has a delicate, leathery outer membrane enclosing the compressed lattice that surrounds a layer of olive-green spore-bearing slime called the gleba, which contains high levels of calcium that help protect the fruit body during development. As the egg ruptures and the fruit body expands, the gleba is carried upward on the inner surfaces of the spongy lattice, and the egg membrane remains as a volva around the base of the structure. The fruit body can reach heights of up to 20 cm (7.9 in). The color of the fruit body, which can range from pink to orange to red, results primarily from the carotenoid pigments lycopene and beta-carotene. The gleba has a fetid odor, somewhat like rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects to help disperse its spores. Although the edibility of the fungus is not known with certainty, its odor would deter most from consuming it. C. ruber was not regarded highly in tales in southern European folklore, which suggested that those who handled the mushroom risked contracting various ailments.We raise our animals to be stress free. They roam wide open pastures grazing on native prairie grasses without a care in the world. This results in juicy and flavorful meats for your table.

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Pig Ears are popular in countries all over the world; China, Phillippines, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Lithuania, Vietnam, Thailand and here in the states. They can be used as appetizers or the main dish. Boiled, stewed, grilled, smoked, pickled, or roasted, these can make a fabulous addition to your menu.
Brainy Gardener is a gardening blog that offers practical, real-life tips and inspiration to help you know how to garden successfully. The website has in depth, well written and clear articles on all sorts of topics and plants, from hydroponics to specific plants like daisies or succulents, houseplants, plant problems Just don’t water from the top; the leaves of these plants are covered with a thin white fuzz that can get washed away if you pour water directly over them. This fuzz is what enables the plant to stand in full sun, so you don’t want to damage it. We and our partners use cookies to Store and/or access information on a device. We and our partners use data for Personalised ads and content, ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. An example of data being processed may be a unique identifier stored in a cookie. Some of our partners may process your data as a part of their legitimate business interest without asking for consent. To view the purposes they believe they have legitimate interest for, or to object to this data processing use the vendor list link below. The consent submitted will only be used for data processing originating from this website. If you would like to change your settings or withdraw consent at any time, the link to do so is in our privacy policy accessible from our home page..

What does pork ear taste like?
The pig ear was glutinous, like a cooked lasagne sheet, with crunchier cartilage in the centre. It tasted like sweet bacon; the pork flavours followed by the after-punch of spicy chillies.
The Pig’s Ear Plant doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. A little bit during the growing season should be fine, but over-fertilizing can damage the succulent. Use a fertilizer low in nitrogen diluted to half strength.Looking for a unique houseplant? Cotyledon Orbiculata, more commonly known as the Pig’s Ear plant, is a great option. While this plant can be tricky to care for, with the right information it can thrive indoors.

Is Gomphus Clavatus poisonous?
Gomphus Clavatus Toxicity, Safety & Side Effects Pig’s ear itself is not toxic, although as with any food, some individuals may have allergies or hypersensitivities. Most of its look-alikes and relatives are also not toxic, and the exceptions can usually be ruled out simply by noting the presence of gills.
Pig’s Ear Plant (Cotyledon orbiculata) is a succulent perennial that usually grows up to 4 feet tall. These plants are native to the Karoo region of South Africa. The leaves are fleshy and oval in shape, resembling a pig’s ear, hence the name. Their borders are covered with a thin red margin that accentuates the often dull green color of the leaves.

What does pig ear mushroom taste like?
Pig’s Ear mushrooms are firm and dense with a musty, earthy flavor and aroma.
When the plant becomes root-bound, it’s time to repot it into a larger pot. Be sure to use a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot and make sure the soil mix has been amended with sand or perlite to ensure good drainage.Cotyledon orbiculata is frost tolerant to about 5°C (40°F). In a colder region, growing this plant outside in the summertime is possible, but you’ll have to bring it indoors when winter comes. Like other succulents, it’s advisable to keep this plant dry in the winter; this has the added benefit of extending its frost tolerance to -5°C (23°F).

Pig’s Ear Plant tolerates quite a bit of neglect when it comes to watering. Its drought-tolerant nature makes it uniquely suited for it. But for best results, water regularly in the growing season. Though make sure the soil is well-drained, as succulents like these don’t like being waterlogged.
Pig’s Ear Plant can be potted in a variety of soil mixes. A succulent mix or cactus mix will work well. The pot should have drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to escape and prevent the plant from being waterlogged.“cotyledon orbiculata pig’s ear succulent flower buds #cotyledonorbiculata #cotyledon #succulent #flower #budding #mygarden #instasucculent” by el cajon yacht club is marked with CC BY 2.0.

As a succulent, Cotyledon orbiculata loves bright light. Whether or not you should place it in the full sun depends on the intensity of sunlight in your region. Just remember, the plant needs time to acclimate to its environment, so don’t move it from shade to sunlight too quickly.
Cotyledon orbiculata can be propagated by seeds and by cuttings. To propagate by seeds, simply sow the seeds in a well-drained soil mix and keep the soil lightly moist until germination occurs. Germination should happen within 2-4 weeks.

Flowers appear from late summer to autumn on long, thin stalks over 2 feet tall. Multiple stalks emerge from the plant base at once, making for a gorgeous floral display. Each stalk is host to a number of these orange and red bell-shaped flowers with recurved lobes.
Cotyledon orbiculata can be poisonous to dogs if they consume large quantities of the plant. The plant contains cotyledontoxin which can be toxic to animals if ingested in large quantities. If you suspect your dog has eaten any part of this plant, it is best to seek veterinary advice.You can trim a pig’s ears with sharp scissors. The only time you want to trim is when the leaves show signs of wilting. Cut off these leaves from the base as they’re at the end of their lifecycle.

Milo Mason is a self-proclaimed plant whisperer. With a passion for gardening, houseplants, and all things outdoors, Milo has been cultivating indoor plants for the past five years with an interest in perennials and succulents. He enjoys sharing his insights and research on plant species when it comes to care tips.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate, you can grow the pig’s ear plant outside. But for those of us living in colder climates, the pig’s ear plant makes an excellent indoor companion. This succulent is easy to care for and has beautiful, lacy leaves that add a touch of greenery to any room.Cotyledon orbiculata is moderately toxic to both humans and animals. Its sap can cause skin irritation, so be sure to wear gloves when handling the plant. If ingested, the plant can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, if you have small children or pets, it might be best to choose a different plant for your garden. Pig’s Ear Plant is prone to mealybugs and aphids. If you notice any of these pests, take action quickly to eliminate them. You can use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to treat the plant. The Pig’s Ear Plant is drought tolerant and can be used in xeriscaping. It also does well in containers and makes a good houseplant. The plant is also used for medicinal purposes in some regions of the world despite its inherent toxicity. It is said to be helpful in treating respiratory problems, fever, and headaches. If you’re thinking of getting one of these to brighten up your garden, don’t hesitate! You’d be hard-pressed to find a more forgiving plant.

Is pigs ear plant poisonous?
Can You Eat Pigs Ear Plant? No, the plant is poisonous if ingested.
Pig’s Ear, Gomphus clavatus is a cousin to the better known Golden Chanterelle. It is typically found in fall in evergreen habitats. Truly a rare and superb mushroom, they have a firm and meaty texture with a savory, earthy flavor. A perfect pairing for lamb or steak.

Sauté sliced pig’s ears, garlic, onion, ginger, sweet peppers, tofu, and a cooking sauce made of tamari, Chinese black vinegar and sake. Toss in some garlic chives at the end and serve over jasmine rice. That was pretty good. I made another dish with bacon which was also pretty good, but I credit that more to the bacon than the pig’s ears.
Gomphus clavatus can be found in the late fall/early winter under Douglas fir trees. The key to eating this mushroom is finding a fresh young specimen that is firm and free of larvae. Young pig’s ears have a beautiful lilac purple cast on the exterior surface with shallow forking veins or wrinkles (which resemble the gill ridges of a chanterelle). As the mushroom ages, it fades to a dull tan.Sauté equal amounts of raw diced artichoke hearts with gomphus. Add garlic of course, and a pinch of tarragon, salt and pepper or chipotle powder in place of the pepper in 3 parts olive oil, 1 part butter. I usually start the artichokes first and add the rest 3-5 minutes later.

Rinse the pig’s ears thoroughly. Pat dry and slice very thin. In a lightly oiled saute pan place a piece of ginger to flavor oil and cook over high heat to release the flavor. Place the thinly sliced pig’s ears into the pan and toss over high heat until lightly browned and caramelized (about 5 minutes). At this point add a clove or two of garlic to taste. Don’t put the garlic in earlier as it will burn and provide an unpleasant bitter taste and aroma. Just let the garlic release its flavor and slightly brown and then immediately add a couple tablespoons of chicken stock and cover. Let stand to steam for 1 minute. The stock will have evaporated by this time. Place the pigs ears on paper towels to drain any excess oil and cover tightly with another layer of paper towel. Fold the edges of the paper towel inward to form a tight package of pigs ears. While still very hot transfer the package to the garbage can. This is the best treatment I know for pigs ears.
Pig’s ear is relatively easy to identify, but reading up on the species can be confusing as its scientific name has changed several times, plus it is one of those mushrooms that is often referred to as a chanterelle but isn’t. While the species has some medicinal potential, it is not a traditional part of folk medicine, nor is it popular among modern alternative medicine enthusiasts. The mushroom’s claim to fame is that it is edible—opinions on the taste vary, but it is savored by some. [vi] Makropoulou, M., Aligiannis, N., Gonou-Zagou, Z., Pratsinis, H., Skaltsounis, A., Fokialakis, N. (2012). Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Activity of the Wild Edible Mushroom Gomphus clavatus. Journal of Medicinal Food 15(2): 216-21.But the bottom line is that pig’s ear is relatively easy to identify under most circumstances and its close look-alikes are also edible—as long as one checks for false gills. Any mushroom with true gills is not pig’s ear, and there are gilled species that are blue or bluish and toxic[v]. False pig’s ear (Pseudocraterellus pseudoclavatus): Looks almost identical to pig’s ear and can confuse even experts. The two are best differentiated microscopically. Fortunately, the two often grow in very different habitats—the false pig’s ear prefers hardwood forests[iii]. Pig’s ear,[i] also called pig’s feet or violet chanterelle, does does resemble any part of a pig, nor is it a chanterelle. It does vaguely resemble the chanterelles, though, having the same vase-like shape and ridges rather than gills, and it is often a lovely pale purplish color.As a mycorhizal fungus, pig’s ear does have the additional benefit of helping forests grow and sequester carbon. Unfortunately, the old-growth forests where this species usually lives are becoming rare, pig’s ear is becoming rare as well[vii].

There are also at least two species in some guidebooks that are now thought to be just pig’s ear by another name, and which could therefore complicate identification[iv]. And pig’s ear can fade and lose its purplish color, making it less distinctive.

Preliminary research shows that pig’s ear contains chemical substances that can kill laboratory-grown cancer cells[vi], but the substances have not been tested on animal subjects or human patients. The species is not generally used as a medical treatment or health supplement.
Pig’s Ear does not have many close look-alikes. It’s vase-like form and its possession of false gills rather than true gills are shared by the other gomphoid mushrooms, as well as by the trumpets, the true chanterelles, and a few others, but very few of these are are in any way lilac-colored. Likewise, there are mushrooms that share pig’s ear’s lilac and brown coloring, plus others that come in various shades blue and purple, but most of these have true gills.

Are pig ears edible?
Frying them crispy is an obvious choice, as the outer layers of skin become crunchy and the inner layer of cartilage becomes gelatinous and chewy. The flavor of the ears could be described as sweet, rich porkiness. If you’ve never tried them, you should; they’re seriously good. Down, boy!
A more obvious benefit is that the mushroom tastes good, at least to some people. Nutritional information is hard to find, but most edible mushrooms are healthy in that they are low in fat and calories and usually high in at least some vitamins.

The statements made on have NOT been evaluated by the FDA. The products recommended on are not verified by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information found on is strictly the author expressing an opinion. Prior to taking ANY supplements you should consult a health care professional. Additionally is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Pig’s ear itself is not toxic, although as with any food, some individuals may have allergies or hypersensitivities. Most of its look-alikes and relatives are also not toxic, and the exceptions can usually be ruled out simply by noting the presence of gills. However, it’s still important for foragers to carefully identify the species, as most people, however intelligent and well-informed, are capable of making a “stupid” ID mistake occasionally.Scaly chanterelle (Turbinellus floccosus): Not a true chanterelle, but does have the vase-like shape. Differs from pig’s ear in several respects, notably that the stem never forks, and the cap has scaly orange patches.

Yes, I didn’t think they were as tasty as, say, chanterelles by a long shot. But, they’re easy to identify, and they’re a cool mushroom. Better than slippery jacks!Special thanks to my friend Dan Farmer on this post, who graciously offered to take me to meet mr Pseudocraterellus so I could share the beautiful in-situ photos with you.The name stuck with me though, and somewhere along the line I put together that they were definitely not polypores, like hens, but Gomphoid mushrooms, Gomphus clavatus, or something very similar.Since the texture on both of these Gomphoids is so good, in my opinion, slicing them up, unless you’re getting bored with a very large haul, just like with golden chanterelles (unless very large) would be a waste.

I give help with what I know, and send the blurry, upside down ID requests off to search elsewhere in cyberspace and proper mushroom ID forums, along with those that I just don’t know. I don’t mind giving Identification help at all, it’s a fun game, keeps me sharp, in touch with friends, and, honestly, I made a bed out of mushrooms here, so it’s only fair I sleep in it, so to speak. Back in my early kitchen days, this was how I learned to recognize Hen and chicken of the woods, a few boletes, chanterelles, and matsutake, among others. The flavor is great, super meaty and rich, there was a touch of bitterness on the finish of the batch I tried, but nothing that wasn’t subdued by adding a simple ingredient, like parsley or a little roasted salsa for my semi-traditional Gomphus tacos (they’re enjoyed in Michoacan, if I remember).I found this article funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture helpful here. Its sad to think that something as special as these mushrooms could fall prey to human destruction due to our need for more and more land.

All that changed last year when I saw pictures of someone harvesting them in August in Wisconsin, as there’s nothing like some fresh mushroom envy to get you back on the trail.

A number of it’s cousins are considered threatened in the American pacific northwest forests too, apparently since they associate with old-growth forests.
In one of my first few years of hunting mushrooms, when most of my family still thought I was probably crazy, I was speaking with my great aunt, a long-time Wisconsonite at a family dinner. Unbeknownst to me, my great aunt and uncle were no strangers to harvesting food, and told me stories of picking lambs quarters, and, one particular mushroom.

But, the best part about these, like chanterelles (in my opinion) is their texture, which is a bit like big chanterelles crossed with the crunch of a milk cap.
The magic though, was the conversation at the top of this post. Embellishment aside (I was speaking with my friend Dan, a local mushroom hunter) he sent me pictures of a Gomphoid mushroom, but it was mid-July, not August, which was strange.Gomphus are a cousin to chanterelles the same way that black trumpet mushrooms are: different genus, but morphologically/visually similar in a number of ways, most noticeably the way they have false gills as opposed to true gills. Gomphus clavatus type mushrooms also have a beautiful purple tone that deepens with age.

Mushroom hunter: “Hey Alan, do you know what mushroom this is?” Me: “Err, hold on, ok. Send me your GPS coordinates immediately along with panorama photos and no harm will come to you or your family.”
I went out to a few pine woods I know, as many Gomphus, like their cousins, a notable chanterelle look-a-like Turbinellus/Gomphus flocossus / scaly orwooly chanterelles are typically pine associate mushrooms. I saw no Gomphus clavatus, no floccosus, or anything that looked like them.Say a prayer for our little pig ears, it looks like they’re going to need it, you don’t need to go to a zoo to see things that could be wiped from the planet in our lifetime.

I just found these in Colorado for the first time. I’ve searched the web on every new mushroom find this summer and I’ve come across one of your posts. I want to say thank you again for sharing your knowledge!
No doubt about it, pig ears are rare, and it’s likely our fault. It’s apparently thought exctinct in the British Isles, legally protected in Hungary, and is on a list of endangered mushrooms in 17 European countries.My husband has been finding pigs ears on our property in Humboldt County California. Under tan oaks and huckleberries. I They made a yummy cream of mushroom soup, very tasty. All of my fresh pig ears were almost crunchy, similar to lobster mushrooms or Lactarius, so if nothing else, know they will hold up for you, there will be no soft shrooms here. Just found a bunch in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington last weekend, right around where we were finding a bounty of golden chanterelles – easy to identify due to their very distinctive violet gills.

I found what I think are pig ears in my garden. It is a lasagna garden box with potting soil from Pacific Northwest topped with grass hay. I live in high desert of oregon. Been having to pour on the water to try and get tomatoes to grow. We gather morrel, boleet, snows, cauliflower, puff ball. In mountains but never have tried pig ear.
We’re having a killer year for the Gomphus Clavatus this year up in Northwestern Ontario. I even got to them before the bugs! The window is so tiny on these. It’s been a stellar mushroom year here once the rains started.That sort of scenario is why I sift through plenty of ID requests and pics from random numbers every year. Every year it comes for me, at pretty regular times. In spring it’s Cerioporus squamosus / pheasant back mushrooms, late spring/early summer it’s Artomyces pyxidatus / crown-tipped coral.

Like lobster mushrooms, pig ears lose a minimal amount of water during cooking, and keep a firm, resilient texture on the plate. I really liked cooking large-ish clumps, just like you would cook a whole chanterelle. But, traditional Latin American taco fillings and recipes will chop them up and stew them so they make a juicy filling, which won’t be bad at all, either, you need a pretty big haul of mushrooms to do that though.
The pig ears were good, and I used them for a special dinner last year. Know ye this though, bugs love these things, and you want them with cool weather, young, like most mushrooms.

David Arora had the answer, but only in a brief snippet, and described by someone else: Pseudocantharellus pseudoclavatus, a near identical cousin of Gomphus clavatus that prefers hardwood forests to pines, and now apparently classified as Pseudocraterellus pseudoclavatus. Both pig ears are near indistinguishable from each other, from a culinary perspective.
HI, I’m Alan: James Beard Award-winning Chef, Author, Show Host and Forager. I’ve been writing about cooking wild food here for over a decade. Let me show you why foraging is the most delicious thing you’ll ever do.Even after I learned what they were, I never looked for them, since, in all the posts and pictures online for our local mushroom forums (a great way to keep up on the season remotely) not a single time did I see someone pick a pig ear gomphus, or ask for an ID on one in our region.

I saute’d a bit up this morning ( I found the bug holes mostly at the base of the mushroom, so cut that out and cooked the top parts) and they were decent, but nothing really stood out in terms of flavor.There’s nothing like touching, holding, cooking, and eating something to imprint yourself with a new ingredient before you try to find it growing wild and put it inside your body.

The smell has been described as initially faint and honey-sweet, but strengthening over time to become overpowering, sickly-sweet and objectionable. Young specimens first emerge from the ground resembling a white egg covered by a universal veil, which then breaks, leaving the volva as a remnant. The spore print is white, a common feature of Amanita. The transparent spores are globular to egg-shaped, measure 8–10 μm (0.3–0.4 mil) long, and stain blue with iodine. The gills, in contrast, stain pallid lilac or pink with concentrated sulfuric acid.SLCO1B3 has been identified as the human hepatic uptake transporter for amatoxins; moreover, substrates and inhibitors of that protein—among others rifampicin, penicillin, silibinin, antamanide, paclitaxel, ciclosporin and prednisolone—may be useful for the treatment of human amatoxin poisoning.

How do you cook gomphus Clavatus?
A Recipe for Pig’s Ears (Gomphus clavatus) Pat dry and slice very thin. In a lightly oiled saute pan place a piece of ginger to flavor oil and cook over high heat to release the flavor. Place the thinly sliced pig’s ears into the pan and toss over high heat until lightly browned and caramelized (about 5 minutes).
Amanita phalloides (/æməˈnaɪtə fəˈlɔɪdiːz/), commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Widely distributed across Europe, but now sprouting in other parts of the world, A. phalloides forms ectomycorrhizas with various broadleaved trees. In some cases, the death cap has been introduced to new regions with the cultivation of non-native species of oak, chestnut, and pine. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) appear in summer and autumn; the caps are generally greenish in colour with a white stipe and gills. The cap colour is variable, including white forms, and is thus not a reliable identifier.

In Europe, other similarly green-capped species collected by mushroom hunters include various green-hued brittlegills of the genus Russula and the formerly popular Tricholoma equestre, now regarded as hazardous owing to a series of restaurant poisonings in France. Brittlegills, such as Russula heterophylla, R. aeruginea, and R. virescens, can be distinguished by their brittle flesh and the lack of both volva and ring. Other similar species include A. subjunquillea in eastern Asia and A. arocheae, which ranges from Andean Colombia north at least as far as central Mexico, both of which are also poisonous. Amanita phalloides is the type species of Amanita section Phalloideae, a group that contains all of the deadly poisonous Amanita species thus far identified. Most notable of these are the species known as destroying angels, namely A. virosa, A. bisporigera and A. ocreata, as well as the fool’s mushroom (A. verna). The term “destroying angel” has been applied to A. phalloides at times, but “death cap” is by far the most common vernacular name used in English. Other common names also listed include “stinking amanita” and “deadly amanita”. The death cap is named in Latin as such in the correspondence between the English physician Thomas Browne and Christopher Merrett. Also, it was described by French botanist Sébastien Vaillant in 1727, who gave a succinct phrase name “Fungus phalloides, annulatus, sordide virescens, et patulus”—a recognizable name for the fungus today. Though the scientific name phalloides means “phallus-shaped”, it is unclear whether it is named for its resemblance to a literal phallus or the stinkhorn mushrooms Phallus. In 1821, Elias Magnus Fries described it as Agaricus phalloides, but included all white amanitas within its description. Finally, in 1833, Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link settled on the name Amanita phalloides, after Persoon had named it Amanita viridis 30 years earlier. Although Louis Secretan’s use of the name A. phalloides predates Link’s, it has been rejected for nomenclatural purposes because Secretan’s works did not use binomial nomenclature consistently; some taxonomists have, however, disagreed with this opinion.

Some authorities strongly advise against putting suspected death caps in the same basket with fungi collected for the table and to avoid even touching them. Furthermore, the toxicity is not reduced by cooking, freezing, or drying.
No definitive antidote is available, but some specific treatments have been shown to improve survivability. High-dose continuous intravenous penicillin G has been reported to be of benefit, though the exact mechanism is unknown, and trials with cephalosporins show promise. Some evidence indicates intravenous silibinin, an extract from the blessed milk thistle (Silybum marianum), may be beneficial in reducing the effects of death cap poisoning. A long-term clinical trial of intravenous silibinin began in the US in 2010. Silibinin prevents the uptake of amatoxins by liver cells, thereby protecting undamaged liver tissue; it also stimulates DNA-dependent RNA polymerases, leading to an increase in RNA synthesis. According to one report based on a treatment of 60 patients with silibinin, patients who started the drug within 96 hours of ingesting the mushroom and who still had intact kidney function all survived. As of February 2014 supporting research has not yet been published.It is ectomycorrhizally associated with several tree species and is symbiotic with them. In Europe, these include hardwood and, less frequently, conifer species. It appears most commonly under oaks, but also under beeches, chestnuts, horse-chestnuts, birches, filberts, hornbeams, pines, and spruces. In other areas, A. phalloides may also be associated with these trees or with only some species and not others. In coastal California, for example, A. phalloides is associated with coast live oak, but not with the various coastal pine species, such as Monterey pine. In countries where it has been introduced, it has been restricted to those exotic trees with which it would associate in its natural range. There is, however, evidence of A. phalloides associating with hemlock and with genera of the Myrtaceae: Eucalyptus in Tanzania and Algeria, and Leptospermum and Kunzea in New Zealand, suggesting that the species may have invasive potential. It may have also been anthropogenically introduced to the island of Cyprus, where it has been documented to fruit within Corylus avellana plantations.Preliminary care consists of gastric decontamination with either activated carbon or gastric lavage; due to the delay between ingestion and the first symptoms of poisoning, it is common for patients to arrive for treatment many hours after ingestion, potentially reducing the efficacy of these interventions. Supportive measures are directed towards treating the dehydration which results from fluid loss during the gastrointestinal phase of intoxication and correction of metabolic acidosis, hypoglycemia, electrolyte imbalances, and impaired coagulation. The death cap is native to Europe, where it is widespread. It is found from the southern coastal regions of Scandinavia in the north, to Ireland in the west, east to Poland and western Russia, and south throughout the Balkans, in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal in the Mediterranean basin, and in Morocco and Algeria in north Africa. In west Asia, it has been reported from forests of northern Iran. There are records from further east in Asia but these have yet to be confirmed as A. phalloides. Consumption of the death cap is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. The four main categories of therapy for poisoning are preliminary medical care, supportive measures, specific treatments, and liver transplantation.

The phallotoxins consist of at least seven compounds, all of which have seven similar peptide rings. Phalloidin was isolated in 1937 by Feodor Lynen, Heinrich Wieland’s student and son-in-law, and Ulrich Wieland of the University of Munich. Though phallotoxins are highly toxic to liver cells, they have since been found to add little to the death cap’s toxicity, as they are not absorbed through the gut. Furthermore, phalloidin is also found in the edible (and sought-after) blusher (A. rubescens). Another group of minor active peptides are the virotoxins, which consist of six similar monocyclic heptapeptides. Like the phallotoxins, they do not induce any acute toxicity after ingestion in humans.A rarely appearing, all-white form was initially described A. phalloides f. alba by Max Britzelmayr, though its status has been unclear. It is often found growing amid normally colored death caps. It has been described, in 2004, as a distinct variety and includes what was termed A. verna var. tarda. The true A. verna fruits in spring and turns yellow with KOH solution, whereas A. phalloides never does.

These toxic mushrooms resemble several edible species (most notably Caesar’s mushroom and the straw mushroom) commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning. Amatoxins, the class of toxins found in these mushrooms, are thermostable: they resist changes due to heat, so their toxic effects are not reduced by cooking.The case of Claudius’s poisoning is more complex. Claudius was known to have been very fond of eating Caesar’s mushroom. Following his death, many sources have attributed it to his being fed a meal of death caps instead of Caesar’s mushrooms. Ancient authors, such as Tacitus and Suetonius, are unanimous about poison having been added to the mushroom dish, rather than the dish having been prepared from poisonous mushrooms. Wasson speculated the poison used to kill Claudius was derived from death caps, with a fatal dose of an unknown poison (possibly a variety of nightshade) being administered later during his illness. Other historians have speculated that Claudius may have died of natural causes.Poisoning incidents usually result from errors in identification. Recent cases highlight the issue of the similarity of A. phalloides to the edible paddy straw mushroom (Volvariella volvacea), with East- and Southeast-Asian immigrants in Australia and the West Coast of the U.S. falling victim. In an episode in Oregon, four members of a Korean family required liver transplants. Many North American incidents of death cap poisoning have occurred among Laotian and Hmong immigrants, since it is easily confused with A. princeps (“white Caesar”), a popular mushroom in their native countries. Of the 9 people poisoned in the Canberra region between 1988 and 2011, three were from Laos and two were from China. In January 2012, four people were accidentally poisoned when death caps (reportedly misidentified as straw fungi, which are popular in Chinese and other Asian dishes) were served for dinner in Canberra; all the victims required hospital treatment and two of them died, with a third requiring a liver transplant.In patients developing liver failure, a liver transplant is often the only option to prevent death. Liver transplants have become a well-established option in amatoxin poisoning. This is a complicated issue, however, as transplants themselves may have significant complications and mortality; patients require long-term immunosuppression to maintain the transplant. That being the case, the criteria have been reassessed, such as onset of symptoms, prothrombin time (PT), serum bilirubin, and presence of encephalopathy, for determining at what point a transplant becomes necessary for survival. Evidence suggests, although survival rates have improved with modern medical treatment, in patients with moderate to severe poisoning, up to half of those who did recover suffered permanent liver damage. A follow-up study has shown most survivors recover completely without any sequelae if treated within 36 hours of mushroom ingestion.

Can you eat Clathrus ruber?
In general, stinkhorn mushrooms are considered edible when still in the egg stage, and are even considered delicacies in some parts of Europe and Asia, where they are pickled raw and sold in markets as “devil’s eggs”.
As the common name suggests, the fungus is highly toxic, and is responsible for the majority of fatal mushroom poisonings worldwide. Its biochemistry has been researched intensively for decades, and 30 grams (1.1 ounces), or half a cap, of this mushroom is estimated to be enough to kill a human. On average, one person dies a year in North America from death cap ingestion. The toxins of the death cap mushrooms primarily target the liver, but other organs, such as the kidneys, are also affected. Symptoms of death cap mushroom toxicity usually occur 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. Symptoms of ingestion of the death cap mushroom may include nausea and vomiting, which is then followed by jaundice, seizures, and coma which will lead to death. The mortality rate of ingestion of the death cap mushroom is believed to be around 10–30%.

By the end of the 19th century, Charles Horton Peck had reported A. phalloides in North America. In 1918, samples from the eastern United States were identified as being a distinct though similar species, A. brunnescens, by George Francis Atkinson of Cornell University. By the 1970s, it had become clear that A. phalloides does occur in the United States, apparently having been introduced from Europe alongside chestnuts, with populations on the West and East Coasts. A 2006 historical review concluded the East Coast populations were inadvertently introduced, likely on the roots of other purposely imported plants such as chestnuts. The origins of the West Coast populations remained unclear, due to scant historical records, but a 2009 genetic study provided strong evidence for the introduced status of the fungus on the west coast of North America. Observations of various collections of A. phalloides, from conifers rather than native forests, have led to the hypothesis that the species was introduced to North America multiple times. It is hypothesized that the various introductions led to multiple genotypes which are adapted to either oaks or conifers.
Death caps have been reported to taste pleasant. This, coupled with the delay in the appearance of symptoms—during which time internal organs are being severely, sometimes irreparably, damaged—makes it particularly dangerous. Initially, symptoms are gastrointestinal in nature and include colicky abdominal pain, with watery diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, which may lead to dehydration if left untreated, and, in severe cases, hypotension, tachycardia, hypoglycemia, and acid–base disturbances. These first symptoms resolve two to three days after the ingestion. A more serious deterioration signifying liver involvement may then occur—jaundice, diarrhea, delirium, seizures, and coma due to fulminant liver failure and attendant hepatic encephalopathy caused by the accumulation of normally liver-removed substance in the blood. Kidney failure (either secondary to severe hepatitis or caused by direct toxic kidney damage) and coagulopathy may appear during this stage. Life-threatening complications include increased intracranial pressure, intracranial bleeding, pancreatic inflammation, acute kidney failure, and cardiac arrest. Death generally occurs six to sixteen days after the poisoning.Some may mistake juvenile death caps for edible puffballs or mature specimens for other edible Amanita species, such as A. lanei, so some authorities recommend avoiding the collecting of Amanita species for the table altogether. The white form of A. phalloides may be mistaken for edible species of Agaricus, especially the young fruitbodies whose unexpanded caps conceal the telltale white gills; all mature species of Agaricus have dark-colored gills.

The species is now known to contain two main groups of toxins, both multicyclic (ring-shaped) peptides, spread throughout the mushroom tissue: the amatoxins and the phallotoxins. Another toxin is phallolysin, which has shown some hemolytic (red blood cell–destroying) activity in vitro. An unrelated compound, antamanide, has also been isolated. R. Gordon Wasson recounted the details of these deaths, noting the likelihood of Amanita poisoning. In the case of Clement VII, the illness that led to his death lasted five months, making the case inconsistent with amatoxin poisoning. Natalya Naryshkina is said to have consumed a large quantity of pickled mushrooms prior to her death. It is unclear whether the mushrooms themselves were poisonous or if she succumbed to food poisoning. Mushroom poisoning is more common in Europe than in North America. Up to the mid-20th century, the mortality rate was around 60–70%, but this has been greatly reduced with advances in medical care. A review of death cap poisoning throughout Europe from 1971 to 1980 found the overall mortality rate to be 22.4% (51.3% in children under ten and 16.5% in those older than ten). This has fallen further in more recent surveys to around 10–15%.A. phalloides has been conveyed to new countries across the Southern Hemisphere with the importation of hardwoods and conifers. Introduced oaks appear to have been the vector to Australia and South America; populations under oaks have been recorded from Melbourne and Canberra (where two people died in January 2012, of four who were poisoned) and Adelaide, as well as Uruguay. It has been recorded under other introduced trees in Argentina. Pine plantations are associated with the fungus in Tanzania and South Africa, and it is also found under oaks and poplars in Chile. A number of deaths in India have been attributed to it.

Amatoxins consist of at least eight compounds with a similar structure, that of eight amino-acid rings; they were isolated in 1941 by Heinrich O. Wieland and Rudolf Hallermayer of the University of Munich. Of the amatoxins, α-Amanitin is the chief component and along with β-amanitin is likely responsible for the toxic effects. Their major toxic mechanism is the inhibition of RNA polymerase II, a vital enzyme in the synthesis of messenger RNA (mRNA), microRNA, and small nuclear RNA (snRNA). Without mRNA, essential protein synthesis and hence cell metabolism grind to a halt and the cell dies. The liver is the principal organ affected, as it is the organ which is first encountered after absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, though other organs, especially the kidneys, are susceptible. The RNA polymerase of Amanita phalloides is insensitive to the effects of amatoxins, so the mushroom does not poison itself.
Charles VI experienced indigestion after eating a dish of sautéed mushrooms. This led to an illness from which he died 10 days later—symptomatology consistent with amatoxin poisoning. His death led to the War of the Austrian Succession. Noted Voltaire, “this plate of mushrooms changed the destiny of Europe.”A. phalloides is one of the most poisonous of all known mushrooms. It is estimated that as little as half a mushroom contains enough toxin to kill an adult human. It has been involved in the majority of human deaths from mushroom poisoning, possibly including Roman Emperor Claudius in AD 54 and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in 1740. It has been the subject of much research and many of its biologically active agents have been isolated. The principal toxic constituent is α-Amanitin, which causes liver and kidney failure.

Several historical figures may have died from A. phalloides poisoning (or other similar, toxic Amanita species). These were either accidental poisonings or assassination plots. Alleged victims of this kind of poisoning include Roman Emperor Claudius, Pope Clement VII, the Russian tsaritsa Natalia Naryshkina, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.
N-Acetylcysteine has shown promise in combination with other therapies. Animal studies indicate the amatoxins deplete hepatic glutathione; N-acetylcysteine serves as a glutathione precursor and may therefore prevent reduced glutathione levels and subsequent liver damage. None of the antidotes used have undergone prospective, randomized clinical trials, and only anecdotal support is available. Silibinin and N-acetylcysteine appear to be the therapies with the most potential benefit. Repeated doses of activated carbon may be helpful by absorbing any toxins returned to the gastrointestinal tract following enterohepatic circulation. Other methods of enhancing the elimination of the toxins have been trialed; techniques such as hemodialysis, hemoperfusion, plasmapheresis, and peritoneal dialysis have occasionally yielded success, but overall do not appear to improve outcome.

What is the most poisonous fungi in the world?
Amanita phalloides (/æməˈnaɪtə fəˈlɔɪdiːz/), commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita.
Lee led me to a back room and retrieved a slab of pink flesh the size of a bread-and-butter plate from a cold box. “At first Big John tried deep-frying them but couldn’t get them tender enough. Then he tried throwing them under the grill; same problem. Finally, he discovered that if he boiled them for two whole days, they’d eventually be good enough to eat.” He gestured to a pair of pressure cookers that rattled and hissed on top of a roaring gas flame nearby. “Thanks to these it now only takes us two hours to do the same thing.”It’s mid-morning and there’s already a small queue forming at the counter of the Big Apple Inn, a much-loved soul food joint in the Farish Street neighbourhood of Jackson, Mississippi. “I’ll take six please,” said one customer in the colourful twang of the Deep South. “Give me two to have in, honey,” said another. Mack, who’s been working in the kitchen for more than 20 years, duly slices, spreads and stacks fresh batches of what’s become the most famous dish on the Big Apple’s menu: their pig ear sandwich.“First he had to decide what to call it,” said Lee. “Around that time there was a dance craze sweeping the nation with lots of different moves like the ‘rusty dusty’ and the ‘pose and peck’. The dance was called The Big Apple and it was his absolute favourite. That’s how the place got its name.”The Big Apple story begins almost 100 years ago when Lee’s great-grandfather, Juan “Big John” Mora first arrived in Mississippi from Mexico in the early 1930s. “He jumped off the train in Jackson and stayed. He was never legal here,” said Lee. “Like many immigrants he got to work straight away, seeing how he could turn a dime.” A friendly diner looked over to my table and nodded his approval as a plate arrived with two freshly filled brioche buns. “I like to alternate – one bite of ear, one of smoke,” he said by way of recommendation. I followed his advice. The pig ear was glutinous, like a cooked lasagne sheet, with crunchier cartilage in the centre. It tasted like sweet bacon; the pork flavours followed by the after-punch of spicy chillies. The smoke had a deeper, richer tang from the beef hearts in the sausage and the char from the grill. “The ears give you lots of juiciness and tasty pork flavours all at the same time,” said cook Lavette Mack as she stirred a simmering pot on the stovetop. “Add a little crunch with some slaw, give it a kick with some homemade hot sauce, put it all together in a bun and you’ve got yourself something really special.”

We walked back into the dining area, which was fast swelling with regulars as lunch hour approached. Lee invited me to sit and sample a “smoke and ears”: one pig ear sandwich alongside another filled with the ground, grilled meat from a Red Rose, a local smoked sausage.

An elderly gentleman in farm overalls settled opposite on the vivid, tangerine-coloured seating. Also a long-time customer, he told me he could remember a saying that went: “This is the place that made you glad that you were hungry.”
Lee then picked up a carving knife and cut an ear into three. “Each part is the perfect size to make a sandwich”, he said. “That was actually Big John’s invention. At that time, most people just ate the ears boiled but he decided to serve them in a bun. He also added the slaw, a splash of vinegar mustard diluted with water, and being of Mexican origin, it was also his idea to throw chillies in a pot and make a hot sauce.”