Candy Cap (Lactarius fragilis, or rubridus?) and Lactarius xanthogalactus mushrooms – N. California
I’m not sure which of the following species of Lactarius these are below. The Candy Cap mushrooms included the following… L. camphoratus, L. fragilis, and L. rubidus.
This is a peculiar mushroom, more commonly used as a culinary flavoring (like saffron, vanilla, etc) in sweet dishes. Upon drying these mushrooms give off the unmistakable aroma of maple syrup. They are highly sought after and integrated into cookies, ice cream, cakes and so forth.
Here is a photo of the gills, below.
See below… The Candy Cap is the one on the right. The one on the left is likely the toxic Lactarius xanthogalactus (thank you Matt Snow for the ID via comment forum). Lactarius xanthogalactus exude a yellow latex when cut or broken. Candy Caps exude a milky clear latex. The two mushrooms also smell quite different.
Again, Candy Cap gills on the right, and Lactarius xanthogalactus gills on the left in the photo below