June 2014's Featured Mushroom was
Tremella foliacea: Brown Witches Butter, Jelly Leaf
Tremella foliacea is a pale brown to brown to red-brown jelly fungus consisting of a mass (sometimes large) of wavy or leaflike folds. The mass can range for 1 to 12 inches wide and 1 to 4 inches high. The frond or leaves are gelatinous and usually are rather thin. The jelly leaf fungus is parasitic on the mycelia of Stereum species and can often be seen on dead logs with the fruit bodies of the Stereum species. Generally T. foliacea is found on stumps and logs of hardwood particularly beeches and oak but it has been found on coniferous logs and stumps also.
Brown witches butter is an edible fungus. It is used in Asian cuisine along with another jelly fungus, Auricularia auricula, more for its texture than its flavor. To use the fungus, I cut it into strips about 1/16 to 1/8 inches wide which I then dry. I use this fungus in hot and sour soups and in some stir fried dishes. This mushroom has very little flavor but adds an interesting texture to some Asian dishes. The other mushroom, Auricularia auricula, used in the same way has more mushroom flavor
In Mushrooms Demystified, Aurora notes that he met an Asian-American gathering this species. Aurora asked how to prepare the jelly leaf with the response that they fry it in garlic and soy sauce. When asked how they taste the response was like garlic and soy.