Boletus Edulis, At Last …

Boletus Edulis, At Last …

Porcinis, Ceps, Steinpilz ...
Porcinis, Ceps, Steinpilz

We went on a little camping expedition this weekend, and it wasn’t until the afternoon of the second day that I managed to find any of these beauties. Boletus Edulis. Also known as penny buns, porcini, cep, and steinpilz (depending on which European grandparents you had …).

I’d been finding plenty of other boletes — especially the scabre stalks (Leccium Insigne), but I’d been skunked on the real prize, the delicious, aromatic, marvelous porcini.
Part of my problem this year is that my secret spot burned up in a forest fire two years ago, so I’ve had to start over, but it’s been raining off and on all summer, and it’s a marvelous year for summer mushrooms.

This picture actually only shows about half my stash. I cooked up the small ones the first night we got home (although my sweetheart, he-who-doesn’t-eat-vegetables didn’t really like them. Oh well, more for me). These were the big ones, that I suspected might harbor …. hitchikers

They were pretty clean though. Some of the really big ones, I had to strip the spongy “tubes” out of (it’s how you can tell a member of the bolete family, they have a spongy layer of tubes under the cap instead of gills). There were a few little worms, and I did have to throw out two big mushrooms altogether because they were just too far gone, but for the most part, they were clean, and lovely. So I sliced them,  cleared a shelf in the pantry and there’s now three stacked cake racks with drying mushrooms on them.

And the summer is young yet. There are still mushrooms out there to be found. I can feel them growing …

4 thoughts on “Boletus Edulis, At Last …

  1. I suggest you check that secret spot of yours. Fires can be great stimulants for mushrooms sometimes, especially after a year. Here in Iowa it has been a banner summer for oyster mushrooms. Thanks to your recipe recommendation, we pickled a batch for the first time.

  2. Fires are great for some mushrooms — but boletes like a deep layer of duff, so not so much for them. It was one of the reasons the morel season was so weird this year — we (thankfully) haven’t had a big fire in a couple of years. But just the fact that it’s been raining this summer — which is so odd — has been a huge help.

  3. I am fascinated with your knowledge of shrooms! I’m not a big mushroom eater, but I don’t dislike. Actually, I have several recipes they are quite good in so when you mentioned slicing them and stacking them on cake racks in the cupboard … is that all one has to do do dry mushrooms? I have a dehydrator that I dry apples, peaches (in Georgia), etc., but I’d never thought of drying mushrooms. Would love to hear more on the correct way to do that.

  4. Well, you have to remember that Montana runs about 20% humidity most of the time — so I don’t know if the cake rack method would work in Georgia — there you’d probably have to use your dehydrator. (I remember my leather shoes going green with mold when I raft guided in NC one summer.)

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