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Shroomin’! August 27, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Dinner with TCR, macro photos.
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After a dreadfully hot and dry start to the summer, which meant that the local mushrooms weren’t blooming, we’ve had a good mix of rain and sun lately. Consequently, we’re seeing a lot of mushrooms in the woods and at roadside.

I’m totally all over that. Free food of a mysterious and slightly dangerous nature… not really, because I’m faint of heart… but the “free” part is all true, and there’s nothing like freshly foraged food.

The Boletes are out, some pretty good to eat and some really choice.  I’m fond of Red Capped Butter Boletes, which are really hard to confuse with anything else. Firstly, they’re a bolete,  so they have a spongy underside instead of having the fine gills of most other mushrooms. Plus, they’re bright red on top, butter-yellow on the underside of the cap, and shading from bright yellow to a vibrant red moving down the stem. There are other red mushrooms, but none which look like  the Red capped Butter Bolete, so it’s a safe choice for mycophagists.

Here’s a freshly picked RCBB lying next to a Russula, which has both gills and a pure white stem which snaps like a piece of chalk when picked:

Some people eat Russulas, some people are sickened by them, so I just keep to the boletes and whatever else I know to be safe and delicious.

I also found some chanterelles, including red (rare,) yellow (common) and black (exquisite!) The black aren’t uncommon so much as they’re invisible on the forest floor. I’ve hunted then fruitlessly for hours, then suddenly realized I’d been walking through them most of the while.

The ones I got this week were thin tubes, a bit browner than their more trumpet-shaped black brethren:

I put a load of these into a cream sauce, and they’re exquisite, with a strong nutty flavor and a texture suggestive of al denté  penne. They’ll meet their end on a bed of polenta tomorrow.

I have a variety of really choice boletes to prepare tomorrow, including king, queen and yellow-footed in addition to the red capped butter boletes. I’m not sure if I’ll get to eat them or just dry them for later; I’ll be away for most of midweek, and don’t want them to go to waste!

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Comments»

1. susancrow - August 29, 2012

They’re great pictures. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bolete but thanks to you if I do, at least I’ll know they’re edible. What we have in the beach park here are wild raspberry and blackberry bushes. For weeks we’ve been strolling and eating 🙂

2. TheCunningRunt - August 29, 2012

susan, I picked some wild raspberries on an island off the Maine coast today… made me wish I’d been here earlier! And the coast is popping with mushrooms which we’ve been adding to our dinners. YaHoo, Free Food!! 😆


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