On a recent mushroom forage I picked a couple dozen helvella type mushrooms. I wanted to confirm the identification with Bob Cummings, our local mycological expert. I was correct except the name has changed slightly. They are edible when cooked well or dried. There is a compound in raw, fresh helvella lacunosa that is called hydrozene, also know as rocket fuel. Little wonder it is slightly toxic raw.
I am making an omelet with shallots, chives and those mushrooms, it's not rocket science.
Helvella lacunosa, known as the slate grey saddle or fluted black elfin saddle in North America, simply as the elfin saddle in Britain, is an ascomycete fungus of the family Helvellaceae. It is probably the most common species in the genus Helvella. The mushroom is readily identified by its irregularly shaped grey cap, fluted stem, and fuzzy undersurfaces. It is found in Eastern North America and in Europe, near deciduous and coniferous trees in summer and autumn.
This species is eaten and regarded highly by some after cooking, though the stems are not eaten. Several guidebooks list it as edible, yet this genus is now regarded with suspicion due to the presence of toxic compounds in several related species. It has been reported to cause gastrointestinal symptoms when eaten raw.