Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Edible?

Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Edible?

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The pearl oyster mushroom, also known as Pleurotus ostreatus, is just one type or strain of oyster mushroom commonly found across the UK. But, are pearl oyster mushrooms edible? Are they poisonous or toxic? What do they look, taste, and smell like? 

Why don’t we take a deep dive and find out?

Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Edible?

Yes, pearl oyster mushrooms are edible. 

Not only are pearl oyster mushrooms edible and completely safe to eat, they are also a great meat substitute for vegan or vegetarian-friendly meals. That’s why they are commonly used as a meat alternative alongside their ‘regular’ mushroom uses, such as in risottos and other side dishes. 

Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Psychedelic? 

No, pearl oyster mushrooms are not psychedelic. 


Fewer mushrooms are psychedelic than you might think, but there are a few pearl oyster mushroom lookalikes that aren’t as safe to eat. 

Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Psychedelic?

Although they look like the very safe pearl oyster mushrooms, other wild types, such as angel’s wings mushrooms, are either toxic to humans or could potentially have psychedelic properties. 

Can You Eat Pearl Oyster Mushrooms?

Yes, you can eat pearl oyster mushrooms! 

And you should totally give them a try sometime, if you haven’t already done so. 

If you’re currently on a vegan or vegetarian journey, or thinking about one, then these mushrooms, alongside many others, are great meat substitutes due to their texture, the way they retain their shape when cooked, and also for the way that they absorb flavours. Because of the latter, mushrooms can mimic a wide variety of other foods, including a range of meats. 

Even if you aren’t living a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, these versatile mushrooms still could have a place in your diet. Oyster mushrooms are highly nutritious and have been closely linked to a wide range of health benefits. 

As reported by Healthline:  

“They may promote heart and immune system health, encourage healthy blood sugar control, and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”


Finally, pearl oyster mushrooms are actually relatively easy to grow, too. You could grow these (and other mushroom types) in your back garden, greenhouse, etc., and have a steady supply of versatile ‘shrooms all-year-long. 

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Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Poisonous? 

No, pearl oyster mushrooms are not poisonous. 

There are, however, several other mushrooms that look like pearl oyster mushrooms, that are potentially or actually toxic or poisonous to humans. 

If you are foraging for wild mushrooms, it is highly recommended to only eat the types and varieties that are you are 100% sure about, with absolutely no room for doubt. Any doubt could be dangerous, even potentially deadly. 

If you were to pick up a handful of Angel Wings (also known as Pleurocybella porrigens), believing it was a handful of pearl oyster mushrooms, you could experience side effects such as: vomiting, nausea, headaches, seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death. This is especially the case if you already suffer from kidney disease or other kidney-related afflictions. 

Thankfully, Angel Wings mushrooms are quite rare and difficult to find. You will usually only find them in Scotland, and only in rather specific places.

Can You Eat Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Raw?

You could eat pearl oyster mushrooms raw, but they do not taste their best in a raw state. 

Experts also do not recommend eating pearl oyster mushrooms raw, or other types of oyster mushrooms. They taste best, and have a better texture, when they are properly prepared and cooked. 

Pearl oyster mushrooms can have a weird, almost metallic twang to them when eaten raw. Most people find the taste rather unpleasant. (Although not all people.) 

Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Edible?

You likely wouldn’t become unwell or experience negative side effects if you were to eat pearl oyster mushrooms raw, but you will get the best out of them if you cook them. 

When Are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms Ready to Harvest UK?

You can find pearl oyster mushrooms (also sometimes known as grey oyster mushrooms) all-year-round in some parts of the UK. 

They seem to prefer the colder winter months, and are found more abundantly in the wild during autumn and winter. Between 13C and 18C seems to be the sweet spot, and in some places, they are actually quite prolific. 

Although fairly abundant, pearl oyster mushrooms are known to be vulnerable to insect infestations and attack, which essentially kills off the mushroom or leaves the quality of it dramatically reduced. 

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By Buzzy Kitchen

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