Early yesterday morning my friend Bob O, called to tell me he had seen several large puffballs while walking his dog at a local park. Actually they were right at the beginning of a trail through our greenbelt. I met him within 20 minutes, and we collected them – Calvatia gigantea. To the left is Bob with the harvest (click on thumbnail). He is holding the largest one which weighed 11 pounds !! Four total, but one was discarded because it had already begun to yellow inside.
This was an unusual experience for three reasons: (1) the biggest I have personally collected, (2) it was late (November) for this species here, and (3) they were growing in a bed of thick English ivy – in fact they were creased by the vines as they grew through the tangle..
I took them home to make Puff Ball Parmesan (click on sidebar link for recipe). Unfortunately, the giant one was beginning to yellow, and I saw no need to try and salvage the edges, as I had two more good ones weighing 3 lbs.