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Nature Study: Giant Puffball

Recently we found an enormous puffball in the woods.  It was old and brown and the skin had cracked.

At its prime, the giant puffball is a white, spherical, edible fungus.  We have seen them as small as an inch in diameter and as large as this one, a foot in diameter.  I do not have a picture of one at the edible stage and my children are not interested in finding such a puffball for me.  You see, the last time they found one, we ate it, and no one in our family wants to do that again.  Although people say puffball tastes like mushrooms, we found it unpleasant in both taste and texture.  Perhaps I didn’t cook it properly.

Instead, we love the amazing explosion of spores that happens when you jump on a ripe puffball.

Caution:  Small puffballs are similar to poisonous mushrooms.  Be certain of your identification before eating one.

The Giant Puffball is our family’s fourth entry in the 100-Species Challenge.

Thanks to Mr. 15 of Teen Geek for the photos.

For more happy moments, see Finer Things Friday.


  1. wdworkman says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. Now I’ll be looking.
    Janet W

  2. Carmen says:

    We’ve had an incredibly large one before – so big that we could not eat it all before it started to go sporey. We liked it – it tasted like mushroom to us. If I had thought about it I would have used more of it up by making mushroom soup.
    I’ve been thinking about your yogourt problem. I’m wondering what brand of yogourt you use to make it with. I always use Astro Balkan Style (the red one with the picture of the cow) and ours always works out.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I think I’ve figured it out. It’s the milk we get from Mac’s. Smells funny and the kids hate the taste. I buy milk from the grocery store now, whenever I can get to one.

      We have used that brand of yoghurt as starter, but it made no difference.

      Thanks for the tip, though. That gave me confidence that it is our milk.

      Annie Kate

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