Jelly ears (Auricularia auricula-judae)

Floppy, jelly-like bracket fungus that can be found on dead tree trunks, most often elder.  This edible fungi strongly resembles an ear hence the latin and common names.
  • Jelly ears often appear over winter and spring which is always a joy for the winter forager. 
  • They have a remarkable ability to dry out and then rehydrate as if newly grown.
  •  If you pick a crispy, dried up jelly ear in summer and then pop it in a bowl of water you can watch it swell up within minutes - great fun with children.  Once rehydrated jelly ears are usually good enough to eat - if they look mushy or mouldy then don't bother.
  • Jelly ears have a slightly crunchy texture that doesn't soften on cooking  so they add a firmer texture to a stir fry or risotto.
  • We love to rehydrate dried jelly ears in either fruit juice or raspberry vodka and then dip them in chocolate.  The fungi take on the flavour of the liquid they are soaked in  which is great fun and allows you to make your own liqueur chocolates.