Giant Puffball can be found in local fields and woodlands in the late summer and autumn. This huge mushroom has an almost marshmallow consistency and a firm skin.
A Giant Puffball needs to be firm and white inside. When you find a puffball, slice it vertically in half and check that the flesh is evenly white inside and there are no markings of gills or a stem inside (which means it’s not a puffball and might not be edible).
If there is any yellow-ish discolouration do not eat it – see photo below and this link that confirms how to identify a Giant Puffball.
Some recipes say to remove the skin (because it can cause gastro-intestinal upset for some people) but I didn’t remove the skin and we were fine.
How to Cook a Giant Puffball
We cut ours into 1cm thick cubes, fried them in butter and oil with finely diced garlic, tarragon and pepper and salt.
The puffball doesn’t give off lots of water like field mushrooms do when fried – so we put a lid on the pan to contain the steam and stop them sticking. Otherwise you have to keep adding lots of butter/oil.
Giant Puffball Recipe Ideas
Omelette filled with sauted puffball, chopped tomato and grated cheese.
Breaded Puffball (simply dip in egg, then breadcrumbs and fry).
Puffball Pizza – where you grill slices of puffball till it is crispy on both sides and then top them with your favourite pizza toppings.
Puffball & Bacon Burger – can also be made with a big field mushroom
For more recipe ideas see here.
Non-edible Giant Puffball
This Giant Puffball could not be eaten as it was discoloured when cut open. Apparently yellow, brown, or purple discolouration of the flesh means the spores are starting to form and it is no longer good to eat.