Other mushrooms in the series:
Introducing the King Bolete
This French and Italian culinary favourite has a few common names, including King Bolete, Porcini, and cèpe.
“One of the finest and most flavorful fleshy fungi and certainly the best-loved and most sought-after in Europe, where it has more common names than there are languages.”David Arora, Mushrooms Demystified
The flavour is often described as nutty, earthy, and meaty, with a smooth, creamy texture and a distinctive aroma, reminiscent of sourdough. It is eaten raw, sauteed in butter, ground into a pasta, in soups, and many other dishes.
In the Wild
The King Bolete grows on its own, in small groups or ‘troups’ (mushrooms growing in a close group, but not close enough to be a cluster) on the ground in the woods with conifers such as pine, spruce, hemlock, and fir, and deciduous trees like oak and birch.
It forms an ectomycorrhizal symbiotic relationship with these trees. Ecto meaning ‘outside’, myco for ‘fungus’, and rrhizal referring to the root – an ectomycorrhizal relationship involves the fungus enveloping the roots of its partner species, and creating a sort of marketplace where the fungus exchanges nitrogen and other nutrients for carbon from the tree. These relationships are symbiotic or beneficial to everyone involved. In fact, trees with these partnerships are more resilient to drought and grow better than the same tree growing without a fungal friend.
It grows in Europe, Asia, and North America, appearing in the autumn, but occasionally a small flush will appear in the spring.
Boletus comes from the Latin term for mushroom, borrowed in turn from Ancient Greek for terrestrial fungus. Edulus is Latin for edible.
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- Mushrooms Demystified – David Arora (A hefty, not that portable, extensive mushroom identification book)
- All That the Rain Promises and More – David Arora (A lighter, more portable basic mushroom identification book)
- Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World – Paul Stamets (An interesting read on the potential role of mushrooms in remediation)