This is a Lobster mushroom. It really isn't a mushroom at all. Hard to tell since it looks like a mushroom and definitely tastes like a mushroom.
So if the Lobster mushroom is not a mushroom – what is it? It is actually a parasitic ascomycete that grows on mushrooms turning them the reddish color that resembles the shell of a lobster.
This specimen is a wild Lobster mushroom found at a produce stand in the farmer's market with some visiting friends. We decided it was a necessary food exploration endeavor to get one of these giant red mushrooms and see how double fungi tastes.
You can't go wrong with mushrooms, butter and garlic – so I chopped up the very dense flesh and plopped in a pan of melted butter and garlic chunks.
I cooked the mushroom in the garlic butter mixture until each piece turned a nice light brown hue – signifying each had appropriately obsorbed the butter garlic goodness.
Last I plated and served the pile of mushroom with crackers. The choice to stay simple with the two flavors complemented the natural earth taste of the mushroom making for a light but full flavor smoothly gliding over the tastebuds of the tongue.
A worthy experiment.