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Boletus or porcini mushroom has another name in biological reference books - Boletus edulis. The classic representative of the Boletovye family, the Borovik genus, consisting of several varieties. All of them have a high nutritional rating and are included in the first classification group. An external description and photos of porcini mushrooms will help you get a general idea of their features and differences between themselves.
Real boletus has thick, dense flesh and a brown cap.
Why is the porcini mushroom so called
A real porcini mushroom and its species differ from each other in the color of the cap and the place of growth. The color depends on age and weather conditions, it can be beige or dark brown. The upper and lower parts of the fruiting body are always of different shades. Among the species of porcini mushroom, there are no monochromatic white specimens.
The representatives of the genus got their name from the color of the pulp; it remains white regardless of the processing method. Does not darken on cuts and damaged areas when exposed to oxygen. Dried fruit bodies also do not change color after evaporation of moisture.
What mushrooms are porcini mushrooms
In appearance, porcini mushrooms are similar to each other in large size, thick elastic pulp and tubular spore-bearing layer. They are all edible with high nutritional value. The chemical composition of the fruit bodies is practically the same. Autumn growth, abundant. The description with the name and photo of the representatives will help to distinguish the varieties of porcini mushrooms.
White spruce mushroom (Boletus edulis f.edulis) is the type form of the species, taken as the basis of the genus.
In wet weather, the hat of the white spruce boletus is matte velvety
Fruit bodies are large, single specimens can weigh up to 1.5-2 kg. The average diameter of the cap is 20-25 cm. The protective film is light beige at the beginning of growth; in adult specimens it darkens, becomes chestnut or brown. The surface is smooth or slightly bumpy velvety, at the beginning of the growing season with a fine, sparse edge. At low humidity, small cracks appear near the edge.
The lower part consists of a tubular dense layer, sometimes protruding beyond the borders of the cap. Hymenium in mature specimens is easily detached from the surface. The spore-bearing layer is located only on the lower part of the cap with a clear border, in the form of a shallow furrow at the stem. In young boletuses, the color is white, then yellow, and at the end of the biological cycle - with an olive tint.
The fruit stem is 20 cm long, thick, cylindrical. Near mycelium thickened with a mesh covering, slightly tapering upwards. The inner part is one-piece dense, the structure is fine-fiber. The color is light brown or white with longitudinal dark fragments. It is characterized by a pleasant taste and a pronounced nutty smell.
Important! The spruce boletus species is the most common of its kind.
Pine-loving boletus (Boletus pinophilus) is an edible species with a high gastronomic value.
Boletus pine has a rich burgundy color of the cap
The color of the upper part of the fruiting body is brown with shades of red or purple. The color is uneven, the center of the cap is darker. The protective film is dry, matte; at high humidity, the mucous coating is not continuous, only in certain areas. The average diameter of the cap is 10-20 cm, the surface is rough and bumpy.
The hymenophore is tubular, white with a yellow tinge, in adult specimens it is yellow-green. Well fixed to the bottom, poorly separable. The tubes are long, do not extend beyond the cap, are densely arranged, the spores are small. The tubular layer ends with a clear depression near the leg.
The leg is thick, in the form of a wide cone, 15-17 cm long. The structure is dense, solid and soft. The surface is beige with brown, sparsely located short stripes, mesh. If the mushroom grows in an open area, the stem is white.
The pulp is thick, pinkish near the film coating, white in young specimens, with a yellowish tinge in mature fruit bodies. The taste is delicate, the smell is pronounced mushroom, intensifies during the preparation process.
White birch mushroom (Boletus betulicola), and among the people - a colossus. It got its name during the time of fruiting, it coincides with the ripening of cereals.
At high humidity, the cap of the colossus is covered with a slimy, but not sticky coating.
The species has the fastest biological cycle, the mushroom matures within a week, ages and becomes unusable. It is smaller. The upper part is up to 10-12 cm in diameter. A distinctive feature of the colossus is a short stem - 10 cm, in the form of a barrel, widened in the middle part.
The color of the cap of the birch boletus is light yellow or dark straw with or without a white stripe along the edge. The stem is light with a pronounced white mesh covering. The tubular layer is pale with a barely noticeable beige tint. Tasteless pulp with a pleasant smell.
Important! If the fruit bodies are not processed in a timely manner, after 10 hours they lose their beneficial properties by 50%.
The bronze boletus (Boletus aereus) is a large edible and the darkest representative of the genus.
Bronze boletus has a dark gray cap and a fine-scaled covering of the leg
A rare species with dense pulp, the thickness of the cap reaches 5 cm, the diameter is 18 cm and more. The surface is smooth, always dry, glossy. In mature specimens, depressions form along the edge of the cap, so the shape is wavy. The color is dark gray, closer to black; the older the specimen, the lighter it is. In adult fruiting bodies, the surface of the cap is brown or bronze in color.
The tubular layer is very dense, the cells are small. In young white boletus it is grayish, then yellow or olive. A distinctive feature of the species - when pressing on the hymenophore, the damaged area darkens.
The leg of the boletus is thick, tuberous, solid and dense. Covering of the lower part with small dark, sparsely located brown scales. Closer to the cap, the top layer is mesh, white with pinkish stripes.
The pulp is pink at the beginning of growth, then becomes white or creamy, slightly darkens on the cut. The taste is neutral, the smell is pleasant, delicate, reminiscent of hazelnuts.
Boletus reticulum (Boletus reticulatus) or white oak mushroom creates mycorrhiza only with deciduous species.
Boletus reticulated is a variety with high nutritional value.
In comparison with other members of the genus, it is a small species, the diameter of the cap does not exceed 8-12 cm. The surface is dry even at high humidity. The cap is uneven in the upper part with bumps and dents, as well as a net of small grooves and cracks. Colored unevenly, there may be areas of cream, dark beige or light chestnut. The edges are curved, with a spore-bearing white layer protruding to the surface.
The hymenophore is very dense, it can be of all shades of yellow or pure white, depending on the age of the fruiting body. Near the peduncle, the spore-bearing layer ends with a clear border.
The leg is even, slightly thickened near the soil, long - up to 15 cm, of medium thickness. The surface is rough, rigid with a pronounced mesh from base to top, light chestnut. The structure is dense, solid. The pulp is not fragile with a delicate taste and a bright mushroom smell.
Semi-white boletus (Hemileccinum impolitum) belongs to porcini mushrooms, until recently it was part of the Borovik genus. Then mycologists isolated it as a separate species of the genus Hemileccinum. It is rare, mostly singly.
Has an unpleasant smell of phenol, especially at the base of the stem
Tubular type with a large fruiting body, the upper part grows up to 20 cm wide. The color is red or bright yellow with a brick tint. Features:
- The surface of the cap is even, uniformly colored. The protective film is hard, dry with deep large cracks along the edge.
- The tubular layer is loose, bright yellow or lemon with brown spots of various sizes, protrudes beyond the borders of the cap, free.
- The leg is narrow near the mycelium, then expands and does not change thickness to the top. Length - 10 cm, width - about 5 cm. The structure is dense, solid and unbreakable. Smooth surface without mesh coating with radial brown stripes, beige.
The pulp is dense, light yellow, with mechanical damage it turns pink. The taste is sweetish, the smell is unpleasant, reminiscent of carbolic acid. After boiling, it disappears completely, and the taste is not inferior to real boletus.
What porcini mushrooms look like
Finding boletus in the forest among mushroom pickers is considered good luck. Porcini mushrooms are large in size, but they are located in small groups, so it is unlikely that it will be possible to harvest a good harvest from a small area. Outwardly, the boletus stands out favorably from other species and will not go unnoticed. The description of the porcini mushroom is as follows.
- The color depends on the variety, the illumination of the place, the humidity. There are specimens of light beige, chestnut, dark gray, brown or bronze shades. It is uneven with dark areas, white or yellowish stripes around the edge.
- The shape at the beginning of the growing season is rounded convex, then convex-outstretched with wavy, even, concave or raised edges. A flat cap is very rare. It grows from 5 to 30 cm. The surface is bumpy, dents or even.
- Protective film smooth glossy velvety dry or with a slippery finish. It can be thin on the edge, with fine wrinkles, cracks of different sizes. Tightly adherent, poorly separated.
- The lower part is dense tubular, reminiscent of the structure of a sponge with small cells. May extend beyond the cap, but always with a clear border in the form of a deep, even furrow at the stem. The color at the beginning of growth is white, then turns yellow. By maturity, the fruit body becomes olive-tinged.
- In young specimens, it is 4-6 cm, the maximum length is 18-20 cm, the thickness, depending on age, is 4-10 cm.
- The form is clavate or barrel-shaped, later becomes cylindrical. Widened at the base, tapering towards the apex, flat or thickened in the central part.
- The surface is rough. May be creamy, white, light brown, often darker at the base. It is colored unevenly: with dark areas, longitudinal lines of a light olive color, small dark gray dots in the form of scales.
- A distinctive feature of boletus is the presence of a mesh coating, it can be along the entire length or closer to the cap. There is no ring on the leg, porcini mushrooms have no cover.
The flesh is thick white, yellowish in mature fruit bodies. The structure is dense, juicy and unbreakable.
Real white boletus grows on a thick club-shaped fruit stem
Characteristics of porcini mushrooms
The above forms of porcini mushroom are edible. They have a delicate, mild taste and a light pleasant smell, except for a semi-white ache. The boletus has a high nutritional value, but only young fruits are consumed.
Attention! If the porcini mushroom is old, the tubular layer becomes slimy, separates from the pulp with an unpleasant smell of decomposing protein.
Overripe fruit bodies are not used for gastronomic purposes, they can cause intoxication. Young boletus mushrooms do not contain toxic compounds, they can be used raw, boiled, fried. Dried porcini mushroom is prized. Well suited for winter harvesting.
The rich chemical composition of the fruiting body has vitamins, trace elements and amino acids necessary for the body to work. Porcini mushrooms have antibacterial properties. They have a beneficial effect on the endocrine system, restore the structure of the liver, and improve the function of the gastrointestinal tract. A low-calorie product with a high concentration of protein is included in the diet for diets and vegetarian diets.
Interesting facts about porcini mushroom
Boletus is considered one of the largest species; in a relatively short biological cycle, it grows to impressive sizes. We found specimens of more than 3 kg with a diameter of the upper part of about half a meter. Most interestingly, the fruit bodies were in good condition, not overripe and not spoiled by insects and snails. Taking into account that the porcini mushroom develops a little more than a week and grows to this size, it can be safely called the leader in terms of vegetation speed. For comparison, other species grow within 5 days and are several times smaller than boletus.
It is the only species that adapts to any environmental situation. In the radioactive Chernobyl zone, porcini mushrooms did not disappear, but grew safely and did not even mutate. At the same time, it is rather difficult to harvest boletus mushrooms outside their natural habitat, so this valuable product is not grown commercially.
Porcini mushrooms are considered primordially Russian. There are numerous recipes for cooking with them.
The characteristics, description and photos of porcini mushrooms show that all representatives of the genus have a high gastronomic value. They are classified as delicacies not only in Russia, but also in Europe. Some varieties are more common, others are rare. Mushrooms are well camouflaged; harvesting a large harvest is considered a real success among mushroom pickers.