Can you eat Wood Ear Mushrooms?

When to Forage Wood Ear Mushrooms?
I have found auricularia auricula (wood ear) just 5 days after temps rose above freezing here in South Dakota. That is wild! I’m still trying to figure out if they fruited in those temps or if the mushroom just dehydrates and freezes all winter then rehydrates when the temps warm (see video above)

Where to Find Wood Ear Mushrooms?
Broad leaf forests. Simon & Schuster’s “Mushroom” and David Arora’s “Mushrooms Demystified” really don’t give much information about this mushroom’s natural tendencies. I’ve noticed it only grows on cut logs or very dead-looking trees so I assume it is entirely saprophytic.

How to Eat Wood Ear
My favorite way to eat wood ear is to first boil it then add directly to Asian stir-fries. It doesn’t have much taste but the texture is truly unique!