The common mushroom is a small, inconspicuous mushroom, but it tastes great! Read how to work with it

The common woodpecker makes probably the most interesting shapes in the entire forest! Read why it is shrouded in various myths, but also how to prepare it in the kitchen and which parts of it are edible.

There is also a luxurious recipe for creamy mushroom risotto!

What is a common toe?

It is a mushroom to which a foot of myths and fairy tales is attached. The reason for this is mainly the form in which they grow up.

These mushrooms form regular circles, some of which are small, but on the other hand, we can also find ones with a diameter of up to 600 meters.

These mushrooms are most often found in forests and grassy areas.

The best time of year to find them is late summer and early fall.

A mushroom with a wavy edge of the hat and white scales.

What does a common toe look like?

  1. It grows from April to November in meadows, pastures, borders, parks, orchards and gardens, in most, mostly outside the forest. It grows mainly after the rains.
  2. The hat is wide with a bump in the middle. The surface of the hat is smooth, ocher and shiny when wet, exceptionally with pink hues.
  3. The leaves are sparse, whitish to ocher.
  4. The leg is cylindrical, flexible. It is white to light brown in color and is usually lighter than the hat.
  5. The pulp is whitish, resembling cartilage.
  6. The smell is pleasant, mushroomy, sometimes slightly bitter almond.
Drawing of a common toe including its cross-section.

Myths and stories

You may be wondering why this mushroom is shrouded in various myths. Firstly, it is the clusters in which it grows, and secondly, it is for the English translation, which popularly reads “magic fairy circle”.

In English and Celtic folklore, these mushrooms grew after fairies or elves danced here. In German folklore, these circles were associated with witches. It was believed to be where witches danced exactly six months before Halloween.

A regular circle that is formed by white mushrooms.

How to prepare the tips?

The first thing to do is to remove the stem and leave the hat in one piece. The easiest way to do this is to grab the stem and twist it to remove it.
As for cleaning, just rinse them in cold water and then let them dry before cooking.
Drying is also a breeze, leave them on the counter to dry on their own or use the dryer.
Dried tips in a large wooden crate.

Creamy risotto with tips

  1. 250 g of dried tips
  2. 375 g of Arborio rice
  3. 1.25 liters of chicken or vegetable broth
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  5. 3 tablespoons of butter
  6. 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  7. 100 g of grated parmesan
  8. 30 ml of balsamic vinegar


  1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water until they are soft
  2. Drain and use the liquid they were soaked in for the stock
  3. Sauté the mushrooms slowly in half the butter and olive oil for 10 minutes and set aside
  4. While the mushrooms are sautéing, bring the broth to a boil
  5. Sauté the shallots in the remaining butter and olive oil until soft and lightly browned
  6. Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated in oil
  7. Cook for about 1 minute
  8. Add 250ml of boiling stock and stir the mixture constantly
  9. When the rice has absorbed the stock, add another 250ml of stock and continue to stir
  10. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked
  11. This will take about 30 minutes (risotto cooked too quickly will not cook evenly and risotto cooked too slowly will be sticky)
  12. A good risotto is creamy, but still firm to the bite (al dente – read more about this term in our article )
  13. About 10 minutes before the risotto is ready, add the reserved mushrooms
  14. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, add the parmesan and balsamic vinegar

If you are not interested in this version, try our other great recipes for risotto with mushrooms !

Creamy risotto full of mushrooms and vegetables.


Freshly picked mushrooms will last for approximately 4 to 5 days if you store them in an airtight container at a temperature of +2 to +5°C.

Frozen tips, if properly stored in the freezer at a temperature of at least -18°C, last at least 18 months.

They have a shelf life of up to 3 years in brine, but must be stored in a cool, dark place.

If you have dried tips, they will last up to 2 years in an airtight container.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)