GIANT POLYPORE, BLACK STAINING POLYPORE

Meripilus giganteus

.Meripilus giganteus, the giant or black staining polypore,  is beginning to appear in many places growing in rosettes out of the roots of dead or dying beech trees.  It is quite common, grows in quantity and is easily identified due to its size and black staining.  Any injured areas will turn quite dark after 30-60 minutes.  When harvested while young and tender, it is an exciting meat substitute, and I love trying out different applications for it.  I begin by breaking it up into smaller fronds and simmering it in a spiced brine.  Then I use it the way I would use beef or pork.     The photos are examples of using it shredded like carnitas in fajitas or like sticky honey pork over rice, and minced as burgers and black staining puddings.  They also make excellent jerky.  Just watch out for the black staining, it is quite difficult to remove from around the fingernails.