Hunting for Bolete mushrooms is great fun for people of all ages and one of my favourite mushrooms to search for. In fact, like me many people find that mushroom hunting is very addictive and as such make several outings during the season to their favourite bolete mushroom spot.
Bolete’s edulis are known as the best mushrooms in the World, best still a number of bolete’s are choice edibles and are extremely popular throughout Europe.
Bay bolete (Bolete badius) is often dried and stored for future use. Like the superior Boletus edulis these mushrooms have a even deeper flavour on rehydrated, giving a rich woody flavour to any dish, perfect mushroom base for gravy, broths or stews.
European families set out early in the morning around dawn to begin their hunt for Bay boletes which are widely consumed all over Europe and can be found growing in coniferous or mixed deciduous forests emerging in large numbers usually three or four days after heavy rain.
Baskets of bolete mushrooms like these are a common site at markets and road side stalls throughout Poland, often accompanied by home cured meats and preserves.
Supervised by an elderly Polish women who also takes responsibility for their neighbours stall and eagerly hobbles over to customers wishing to make a purchase, that’s if the net curtain twitching “Babcia” does not beat her to it.
After two years of attempting to find mushrooms hotspots by myself I was finally lucky enough to of been invited to participate in a family mushroom hunting trip. I was overjoyed at my chance to find out how the professional do it and have an expert identify my mushrooms.
There is something very rewarding about hunting for mushrooms, in fact I cannot wait to see what this year has in store. Usually following a two year cycle with one year having an abundance of mushrooms and the next year very few. Weather plays a critical role and a late winter or a dry summer can dramatically effect the mushroom availability for years to come.
Drying Bolete’s and Parasol caps is an ancient and practical way of preserving mushrooms for use in the winter months. Often hung from strings in a dry, dark well aired position will allow the Mushrooms to dry throughly and retain the deep earthy/nutty flavour and scent that is often associated with the species.
Can you see the Bolete Mushroom strings? These are lovingly collected and cleaned before threading the mushrooms on to a string of approx 20/25 caps and then hung often from the ceiling of a traditional European kitchen. Bolete Mushroom strings are prized throughout Europe and during festivities and celebrations the prices tend to soar.
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