Post from David Horvitz

Question: Hi,

I’m forwarding this to various people (some friends and contact emails from some Myco website) to see if anyone has any thoughts.

This was written yesterday, It’s now been about 18 hours or so, and I’m not sick!

This was in the Catskills, the mountain range a few hours north of New York City.




I am trying to make sense of this.

This morning in the catskills I found what I thought was a boletus edulis. From my research I know that there aren’t that many dangerous boletes, so I wasn’t worried if it was a closely related species. I know that the ones that are poisonous are red or stain blue, and there is the inedible bitter bolete.

I found a big one, slightly eaten by some slugs, and a small baby one.

I’ve attached a photo, though it’s not that good. I didn’t bother taking a better photo b/c I thought I had ID’d it.

I cooked it up with thyme, bacon fat, garlic, and then scrambled two eggs on top of it. I cooked it about ten minutes.

About 20 minutes after I ate it I felt a chemical feeling in my mouth, and I felt spaced out, like I was about to start tripping on a psychedelic. As I was typing an email my fingers began to feel light and a feeling of disassociation arose. No one else felt this. I never felt sick. The feeling faded away, but I still have this very very slight spaced out feeling. It’s been about 6 hours since I ate it.

If it was a toxic boletus, I assume I should have gotten sick already…

I also just discovered this lookalike online: Boletus huronensis. Which some say is edible, and some say will make you sick… It says it “slowly” stains blue. The mushroom we ate didn’t stain blue, but I don’t know if “slowly” means we should have waited some time… Though there were some missing pieces in the stalk and cap when I found it which I assume should have turned blue…. Though, some things I’ve read online say that b. huronensis doesn’t always stain blue.

I should have probably saved a piece of this mushroom, or took better photos, but I felt pretty safe about it.

Three people ate the mushroom. I was the only one who felt slightly weird right after. Another person who ate it said he felt strangely great, but he wasn’t sure if it was a kind of high, or if he was just feeling good up in the Catskills. My wife, who also ate some, said she didn’t feel anything. However, later that evening she said she felt a little weird, but thinks it was psychologically provoked when we got a little paranoid reading about the b. huronensis poisonings… This morning she said when she went to sleep she was in an “alert state and the room was animated.” We also stayed up to 1am last night without feeling tired, though the previous nights we were going to sleep around 11pm.

Other things that maybe should be considered:

We were consuming a chaga brew the past few days, could this have reacted with something in the mushroom?
We found this 20 feet up a small hill on the side of a road, but it was a road in the middle of the Catskills in the middle of nowhere, a very very rarely traveled on road…
Weed killer? Could this explain the chemically high feeling without the feeling of getting sick.
I also remember when I ate it it tasted really good. But I didn’t think it had that strong porcini taste that I know. (But it did become a medium for bacon fat…)
Any thoughts?


– David


  1. How many did you eat? I know ive pigged out with good wild mushrooms after only a brew or two and found myself quite sick.

  2. I found a Boletus huronensis in the Shawangunks that was positively ID as such by Gary H Lincoff, author of Audubon’s “Field Guide to Mushrooms.” He explained how this mushroom can easily be confused with Boletus edulis and that it will make some people very sick. Sounds like what you ate.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

4 × two =