The earth is still turned up in the spot "it" sat in Betsy Brown's Monkton yard, on a road most folks never drive down unless they live out here or are visiting.
"I came home a couple of days ago and found a note on my door," explained Brown.
The note read 'Hello, I spied a beautiful puffball growing in your field. I have a thing for puffballs.' Even after reading this, Brown didn't quite know what she had. Then she posted it to Facebook and got more comments than she'd ever had before!
"I've lived in vermont pretty much my whole life and I had no idea you could eat these things," said Brown. In fact, when Brown's puffball mushroom was stolen last year, the thief derailed her husband's plan for that big fungus and it had nothing to do with eating it!
"Apparently when these mushrooms go by you can make the explode, hence puffball," explained Brown. This year, her daughter Allie was hoping to watch their puffball explode. But there's another twist to this mushroom mystery. Right after Brown took a photo of the mushroom, someone tried to steal this year's puffball too. A friend caught them white-handed.
The mushroom is hard to describe in words. But reporter Julie Kelley got to see it in person.
Experts say, the mushroom can be the size of your fist, the size of a basketball or even the size of a small kid, like Brown's son, Ian. The mushroom is almost as big as him. Even a mushroom expert is blown away when he saw a photo of Brown's mushroom.
Ari Rockland-Miller is a law student by day and The Mushroom Forager by night.
"I was always fascinated by mushrooms since I was a little kid. I begged my Mom to buy me The Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms when I was ten years old," said Rockland-Miller. Today, what started as a blog, has grown into a business with workshops and even the foragecast
"Because there are thousands of speciesof mushrooms out there, it helps them cut through the madness and focus on the distinctive, delicious or medicinal species," said Rockland-Miller. The puffball is on the foragecast right now.
"It can be made into many dishes: puffball parmesan, I've seen puffball stir fry, grilled giant puffball," said Rockland-Miller.
When Brown cut her mushroom open, Rockland-Miller described it as being in the perfect eating stage.
"That's the perfect stage for eating! Nice white, firm flesh, smells nice and fresh, this is the perfect eating stage," said Rockland-Miller.
An unexpected taste of Vermont for a woman who grew up here. Experts say many mushrooms are not safe to eat, but the puffball is popular because it is easier to spot.
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