Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Did you know that there is a mushroom called 'Delicious Lactarius'?

Delicious Lactarius: A mushroom used primarily in spicy sauces, especially in Spain and the south of France. The mushroom secretes an orange milk when broken open.

Now guess which of the following is the real reason for this appellation

a. King Louis XIV of France found the mushroom, then known simply as Lactarius, so delicious that anytime he wanted to be served that, he would request for 'that Delicious Lactarius Ragout (or some such)'. And in his 72 year long reign (which incidentally is the longest documented reign of any European monarch), he asked for it so much, that it came to be known as Delicious Lactarius.

b. The name Lactarius was found to be so hideous and non-significant of something edible that it needed an nice sobriquet to ameliorate the effect. 'Delicious' was so suggestive that it served to make up for the misfit of the name 'Lactarius' to anything that was intended for consumption.

c. Some brilliant and creative and extremely sentient scientists decided to simply string together the adjective that describes it and a scientific sounding word signifying one of its significant properties ('lact' for secreting milk!)

d. Marie Antoinette, determined to feed her children the Lactarius that they absolutely despised, sought to use positive conditioning and reinforcement by ALWAYS referring to it as 'delicious'. The wily lady even went as far as to pass a nation wide order threatening one and all to the guillotine if they didn't comply and say 'delicious' before saying 'lactarius'. And it worked.

e. During the time Rhonda Byrne was doing field experiments for her future book 'The Secret', she decided to test the validity of her theory that you can create or manifest any phenomenon by believing in it and sending the appropriate energy to it, by taking a random mushroom and giving it the epithet of  'Delicious'. And it came to pass that the humdrum mushroom actually became delicious thanks to the power of belief and affirmation, thus attesting Byrne's theories. This in turn lead her to publish the book that sold millions of copies and made her dreams come true for sure as well! All thanks to these puny little 'shrooms!


Drumroll please.....
The answer is.....

Option c.!!!!!!!

Linnaeus, who pretty much named everything that breathes, gave it the name Agaricus deliciosus, with 'deliciosus' deriving from Latin deliciosus meaning "tasty", on a slightly off day when he couldn't come up with two(!) absurd sounding words that humanity will never be able to grasp completely. He allegedly gave the species its epithet after smelling it and presuming it tasted as good as a Mediterranean milk cap highly regarded for its flavor. Dutch mycologist Christian Hendrik Persoon added the varietal epithet lactifluus in 1801, before English mycologist Samuel Frederick Gray placed it in its current genus Lactarius in 1821 in his The Natural Arrangement of British Plants.


I'm tired just writing about it! Imagine actually coming up with the stuff!

I think I'll go make myself a delicious Ragout of Delicious Lactarius now!

1 comment:

  1. Nice :) I am learning quite a few new words. I never knew who mycologist was..


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