When the first leaves fall and the days get shorter, those who are familiar with mushrooms are drawn to the forest. The Judas ear is often overlooked in nature. The edible mushroom is shaped like an ear cup and is therefore easy to identify for beginners. There are no toxic doubles. The Judas ear can be found all year round. However, the ideal collection time is in autumn and winter in wet and cold weather without freezing.
The German Society for Mycology has chosen the Judas ear (Auricularia auricula-judae) as the mushroom of the year 2017 to draw attention to the extraordinary representative. The name comes from a legend: The disciple of Judas is said to have hanged himself from an elder tree after betraying Jesus with a kiss.
In fact, the Judas ear thrives particularly well on older black elderberry trunks and is therefore also referred to as elderberry sponge. It feeds on the wood and slowly breaks it down. It is rarely found on other deciduous trees such as maple and beech. The outside of the mushroom is reddish brown to purple-gray and feels velvety, while the inside is smooth. He only gets water irregularly on the tree. Because of this, it has developed the ability to shrink when dry and swell when it rains.
The Judas ear not only grows wild in the woods, but is also grown on wood in mushroom cultivation. The species is closely related to the Mur-Erh (Auricularia polytricha), also called Chinese morel. The taste of the Judas ear is rather neutral. It goes well with mixed mushrooms and Asian wok dishes and is excellent for drying in the pantry. Heike Kreutz, aid