It is indeed that time of year when you see puff balls popping up around Upstate New York. I found one recently after a day of rain below a bush in my front yard, and it was the size of a muskmelon.

While we call them puff balls or giant puff balls, the official name is Calvatia gigantea and they grow wild in the northeast.

When eating any wild mushroom, it's vitally important take great precautions as if you eat something of the poisonous variety, there's good chance you'll be dead in less than 24-hours.

"Slice it in half and if it's yellow inside it's bad. Don't eat it," said puff ball enthusiast Joe Leonard (Joe Load). "If it's completely white on the inside, you're safe, he said." Joe suggests slicing it about 1/4 inch thick and dipping it in an egg dip and then bread crumbs. "Then just fry it up in butter," he said.

There are pull ball lookalikes that are poisonous, according to"You must cut the mushroom in half from top to bottom.  The inside of edible puffball mushrooms should be pure white, like a marshmallow, or like fresh mozzarella balls, there should be no patterns, or marks or colors or anything other than pure white, and especially no signs of gills.  If you follow this one rule you should be able to enjoy mushroom hunting for puffball mushrooms without worry.  Not all puffballs are edible, and not all are edible at all stages, but if you stick with the rule of pure white inside with no markings(especially gills) then you will only be eating edible puffballs."

"They're very fragile and can crumble so use a sharp knife and enjoy," said Leonard.

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