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A puffball.
A puffball. / Len Harris/For

Puffballs are easy to identify for the beginning mushroom hunter because there are no poisonous species.

The larger puffballs grow on composted soil and meadows puffballs fist-sized or larger are unmistakable. Puffballs grow on the ground or on dead wood. The best time for finding puffballs is in the fall.

They must be all-white inside. If there is any shade of yellow or purple inside, these should be inedible. When you cut a puffball open, you'll find no stem and no gills inside.

Peel the outside cover off before preparing. You can saute them, simmer them in soups or cook them with grains. Try dipping slices in a batter of egg and milk and cover with bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper and fry them up in butter or oil.

Puffballs have a very earthy flavor and the unique taste will not disappear in a dish.

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