We’re in love with meaty, mild and magnificent mushrooms! Packed with vitamins and minerals these fungi are fabulous for grilling or frying up in the cast iron. Wonderful with roasts and in sauces, these also do fish dishes proud as well. Mixed in with hamburger for that extra special something in the recipe, the Boletus not only does the body good, it tastes good as well. There has been an ongoing love affair with the Boletus in Europe, so much so that many countries have given it their own special nick name. Cepes in France, byelii-greeb in Russia, steinpilz in Germany and porcini in Italy. Like a member of the family the byelii-greeb saved many a Russian during the war, giving them a nutritious foundation food to keep them alive when none other was available.
Today boletus has about 100 types and most are considered a gourmet mushroom. It likes to grow under spruces, and other conifers as well as hardwoods, sprouting up through the needles after about ten days of rain. In the Northern Hemisphere this usually occurs in September or October. This culinary ‘shroom is unique in that it doesn’t have gills underneath but pores which cause it to look as if it’s been poked repeatedly with a large pin. These pores should not get wet when cleaning the mushroom as they act as a sponge and take on water. It should be noted that most are edible, except for the ones with red pores. These are considered toxic and should not be consumed.