Slime mold is the default name for NetHack's customisable fruit.
This fruit is a comestible worth 250 nutrition points and is consumed in a single turn (other fruits have much lower nutrition values and nutrition/weight ratios). NetHack treats the fruit as vegan for conduct purposes, even though you might give it the name of a non-vegan food.
You can change the name with the fruit option to almost anything you like. You could choose "slice of pizza", "bowl of gruel", or "leg of ham", and the game will identify pizza, gruel, and ham as the food part, so that quaffing certain potions results in messages such as "This tastes like ham juice". However, NetHack will prevent you from naming your fruit after a corpse or tin, or with a word indicating BUC status. If you try, you will have a candied corpse, tin, or blessed/cursed/uncursed fruit instead. The name you choose has no impact on gameplay, except that differently-named fruit don't stack. Most bones file fruit on public servers are "slime mold".
If you want to wish for a fruit, you must wish for a "fruit", regardless of its current name.
If you leave a bones file with any custom fruit in it, the name will be preserved for the player who finds it.
If you change the fruit option, existing fruit will keep their name. Newly generated fruit will use the new name.
Slime molds exist in the real world. A slime mold is not a fungus, and certainly not a fruit. The slime mold creeps around until it finds a rotten food source, such as old wood. Then it grows into a plant-like form and makes spores. Slime molds are disgusting, and you probably would not want to eat one.
Both NetHack and Angband feature edible slime molds. Angband has no option to replace slime molds with something else. Because slime molds are defenseless living creatures, some players do not eat them. An odd Angband tradition is to name individual slime molds and keep them as pets.
Among slime molds, the species Physarum polycephalum is a significant research subject. As it wanders around, P. polycephalum leaves a trail of green slime (not that green slime). P. polycephalum has demonstrated a surprising amount of intelligence, despite being a single cell with no brain. Recent research shows that P. polycephalum can solve mazes. The slime mold uses its slime trail as its memory, and can choose to try a different route, until it finds its food.
Slime mold or slime fungus, organism usually classified with
the fungi, but showing equal affinity to the protozoa. Slime
molds have complex life cycles with an animal-like motile
phase, in which feeding and growth occur, and a plant-like
immotile reproductive phase. The motile phase, commonly
found under rotting logs and damp leaves, consists of either
solitary amoebalike cells or a brightly colored multinucleate
mass of protoplasm called a plasmodium, which creeps about
and feeds by amoeboid movement.
- Notable ascensions includes a few cases of slime mold ASCII art.