I actually prefer mine fresh, as opposed to dry, by far. It seems there are some minute, subtle taste differences from strain to strain, but for the most part I'd describe fresh shrooms as having a 'woodsy' flavor. If you've ever walked through a forest right after a summer rain and experienced that mossy/woody bouquet that wafts thick enveloping your senses so thoroughly you can almost taste it. That's what it reminds me of. The only drawback to eating fresh (in my case at least) is they're so, for lack of a better word, 'rich' it's difficult to eat what you might consider a full dose in one sitting. It's like they start out tasting great but become overwhelming.
When I dry & grind mine in my coffee grinder & encapsulate them, my experience is they take a bit longer to come on (dunno for sure but I assumed it's the capsule taking time to dissolve as opposed to fresh/dried non-capsuled having immediate system exposure), and the experience itself was different. Not necessarily better nor worse, just different. Not sure how or why.
Good luck with your first grow project! The first is always exciting. :)
Yeah now that I keep reading about eating fresh I cannot wait to try it for the first time... the experience of eating them fresh as you describe them sounds a lot better than eating them dry as a cracker.. I mean there is no way anyone likes the taste of cubes dried... just seems crazy to me... I can chew them without much incident, but swallowing after... is difficult... without strong drink like orange juice or whiskey or something lol.
Yeah I think that's DEFINITELY the gel caps taking too long to break down... I would try it out with different brand of caps as shake should hit and peak MUCH faster than just masticating the stems and caps.
Yeah it really cannot colonize fast enough.... I check on my project probably 2-4 times a day, knowing full well I'm not going to see much of a difference... but I just can't help it. Soon I'll have jars colonizing, cakes in the fruiting chamber, projects in agar and petri dishes, and prints to take care of :)