Cep, or boletus, is considered an elite tubular mushroom. At the cut, it has a snow-white pulp, which has a characteristic feature - it does not darken after heat treatment. It is this property that made it possible to call it white. Borovik is also famous for its taste: it has a rich mushroom flavor and a delicate aroma with nutty notes.
The appearance of the mushroom does not correspond to its name: its hat is never white, and can have a shade from milky to brown. The younger the mushroom, the brighter its hat. The legs of these mushrooms have a mesh surface of milky, beige or gray color. They come in different sizes: from small to 7-10 cm in diameter to gigantic - more than 30 cm in diameter. It is believed that the largest porcini mushroom had a hat diameter of about 60 cm, and it weighed up to 11 kg. Such a find in 1961 was reported by Moscow Radio.
What does it look like
The porcini mushroom has a convex hat with a velvety or smooth surface and a skin that does not separate from the pulp. The leg is cylindrical in shape and has a thickening at the base; a thin net pattern of light color is determined on its surface. Borovik has a pleasant mushroom aroma.
Mushrooms grow in forests almost everywhere: in Europe, Asia, North and South America, in northern Africa. They prefer coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests with sandy, sandy loam and loamy soils. Depending on which trees the boletus grows next to, its appearance changes. Accordingly, many species of these forest gifts distinguish a halo of growth. The most common types of boletus are:
Has a beige hat, grows in birch forests. Often found in forests in Russia.
It has a brown or orange hat and a short cylindrical leg. It grows in beech, oak, hornbeam forests of Europe, in northern Africa.
Bronze (copper, hornbeam)
It has a dark brown hat and the same dark leg, but at the same time white flesh. It grows in the deciduous forests of North America, in the south and west of Europe.
Has a hat of dark, often violet, color. The color of the flesh of this boletus is brown-red. It is found in the pine forests of northern Europe.
Has a hat of gray-brown color with light spots. It grows everywhere in oak forests.
It has a long club-shaped leg and a chestnut-colored hat. It grows in spruce and fir forests.
The duration of the growing season of boletus depends on latitude: in northern latitudes - from June to September, in temperate latitudes - from May to November. Most often they grow up in families, and they reach maturity a week after the appearance, which is a long cycle for mushrooms.
Before picking, mushroom pickers must carefully study the coloring and appearance of that variety of boletus, which usually grows in the area of the intended collection.
How to distinguish a real white mushroom
Regardless of the variety of cep, there are several features that allow it to distinguish boletus from inedible bile and satanic mushrooms:
- The tubular layer in boletus is only white, milky or light yellow. The dark color of the tubular layer is a sign of inedibility.
- The net on the leg of a real boletus is never dark.
- The flesh of an edible product of light shades does not darken at a break or slice, when pressed and after heat treatment does not change color.
- If the tubular layer is painted dirty white or pinkish, the net on the leg is dark brown, and the hat is brown or brown, then this is probably a bile mushroom (mustard). Upon breaking, the flesh often darkens (but not always).
- The satanic mushroom has a bright (orange or red) tubular layer and a barrel-shaped leg with a bright red mesh in its middle part. On the cut, the flesh within a few minutes changes color from white or yellow to purple or blue. The smell of such a mushroom resembles onion.
- When collecting boletus, one should not rely on their worminess as a sign of edibility!
The main rule of each mushroom picker: I'm not sure - do not take it!
How to collect
To collect real edible porcini mushrooms, you must adhere to certain rules:
- The best time to collect them: warm and humid weather without sudden temperature fluctuations.
- It is better to collect mushrooms in the early morning, then juicy moist mushrooms are stored longer.
- You can’t go out to pick mushrooms in dry weather. Dry air “draws” moisture from the pulp and leads to an increase in the concentration of harmful substances in it.
- Mushrooms need to be collected only in ecologically clean areas: away from industrial areas, highways, railways, landfills, treatment facilities, fields, pastures and livestock farms.
- No need to take wormy mushrooms. The waste products left by the worms in the pulp are almost impossible to wash or clean, so they can be poisoned.
- Do not collect large mushrooms. Large size is a sign of maturity: the older the mushroom, the more toxic substances accumulate in it.
In addition to their own safety, it is necessary to pick mushrooms so as not to harm nature:
- in order not to damage the mycelium, the find from the mycelium must be twisted or cut;
- if the mushroom is wormy or overripe, it should not be thrown to the ground. It would be better to hang it on a small branch with a tubular layer down. So spores will spill out of it on the soil, and its dried pulp in the cold season can be used by forest animals for food;
- poisonous mushrooms cannot be destroyed, since they are a necessary link in the forest ecosystem.
When hiking in the forest, nature must be protected: the forest is home to a large number of living creatures.
How to harvest and store
It is believed that the beneficial properties of cut mushrooms remain for 8-10 hours after collection. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the crop as soon as possible and to engage in its harvesting. The method for cleaning mushrooms depends on the method of harvesting them.
To properly prepare the mushrooms for the workpiece, you must:
- Immediately after collection, the lower part of the leg should be cut off if it is very dirty, and the remaining part of the leg and the hat should be cleaned with a toothbrush of sand and soil. This must be done before the product is in the basket.
- If a wormy mushroom is caught, then it is not worth taking. One worm can ruin a whole basket of forest products. If there are only single wormholes in the tubular part of the boletus, they must be cleaned. To do this, it is better to cut the mushroom in the wormhole.
- Mushrooms should not be washed before drying, as they are easily moldy during the drying process.
- Heavily contaminated mushrooms intended for harvesting methods other than drying should be soaked in salt water for 10-15 minutes.
After cleaning, the procurement process itself takes place. The most popular are such procurement methods:
The choice of harvesting method depends on the taste preferences of mushroom pickers. It is believed that mushrooms best retain their taste and aroma when dried, which is why this method is currently the most common. They are dried in the shade in the open air, in attics, in stoves, ovens, microwave ovens and special dryers. Dried porcini mushrooms can be stored for 1 year in dry rooms at an air temperature of + 18 ° С +/- 2 ° С.
Useful and healing properties
Ceps are appreciated for their high palatability. They contain few essential substances for the human body, so they can not be attributed to products that must be present in any diet. However, for vegetarians who do not consume animal protein, dried mushrooms can be a good alternative.
- vitamins (A, C, D, E, group B);
- minerals (potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, cobalt, fluorine, selenium, zinc, iodine, sulfur);
- alimentary fiber;
- polysaccharides (chitin, glycogen, beta-glucan);
- alkaloids (herzedine and shingles);
- proteins and amino acids, including ergotionine;
- fats, including lecithin;
Porcini mushrooms have a number of useful and medicinal properties, which include:
- diet - low energy value (100 g of fresh porcini mushrooms contains 34 kcal);
- ability to stimulate the secretion of digestive glands;
- tonic properties;
- immunomodulatory effect;
- antimicrobial effect;
- hypocholesterolemic properties (due to lecithin);
- regenerative properties (due to ergotionein);
- antioxidant effect (due to beta-glucan);
- wound healing effect (externally).
In medicine, porcini mushrooms are rarely used as a medicine. The main indications for their treatment are:
- cancer prevention. According to statistics, women who eat boletus mushrooms regularly have less breast cancer. This fact suggests that they have an anti-cancer property, probably due to their high sulfur content associated with polysaccharides;
- diet therapy for tuberculosis. Immunomodulating, antimicrobial and tonic properties of boletus mushrooms strengthen the weakened immune system of patients;
- atherosclerosis. Lecithin contained in boletus reduces blood cholesterol;
- frostbite. A water extract from dried mushrooms for external use helps restore skin after frostbite.
Before using boletus for medical purposes, it is imperative to visit a competent doctor. Mushrooms cannot replace the basic therapy of diseases: they can only be an adjunct in their complex treatment.
Fresh mushrooms contain a difficult to assimilate substance - chitin, so they belong to heavy food, the digestion of which requires increased work of all digestive glands. Chitin is absent in dried porcini mushrooms; therefore, the protein benefits of precisely prepared products are much higher than when they are used fresh or heat-treated.
The difficulty of digesting boletus is the basis for limiting their consumption or refusing to take them. Contraindications to their use are:
- children (up to 12 years old) and old age;
- pregnancy and lactation;
- digestive tract diseases (gastritis, colitis, pancreatitis, gallstone disease, digestive disorders);
- individual intolerance;
- allergic reactions.
Fresh young white forest products do not contain harmful substances. Toxic substances can accumulate in the pulp of mushrooms if they:
- affected by diseases, worms and other pests;
- poorly cleaned;
- grow in industrial areas, near busy highways, landfills, sedimentation tanks, agricultural land or livestock enterprises;
- not harvested within 8-10 hours after collection;
- preserved without compliance with sterilization regimes.
When eating such porcini mushrooms as food, side effects are possible:
- digestive disorders (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea);
- increase in body temperature;
- stomach ache;
- pulse weakening;
- cold fingers and toes;
- neurological disorders (confusion, impaired sensitivity or motor activity).
If sterilization is not observed during conservation of poorly purified boletus, botulinum toxin can accumulate in the product, which causes respiratory muscle paralysis, which can lead to death.
In cooking, mushrooms are used in raw, frozen and dried form, in the form of canned food, pickles. They are boiled, fried, stewed, baked. Reviews of porcini mushroom lovers at various forums indicate that it is preferable to use dried mushrooms for cooking various mushroom dishes. The most popular dishes among them are porcini mushroom soup and mushroom sauce. It is in these dishes that they are revealed, showing all their taste and aromatic qualities.
White mushroom soup
A handful of dried boletus is soaked for 30 minutes in milk, washed thoroughly, then cooked for 15-20 minutes. Chopped onions and carrots are fried in a pan, then pre-boiled porcini mushrooms are added. After 10 minutes of frying, the contents of the pan, along with chopped potatoes, are poured into the pan. Cook until the potatoes are cooked. Served with herbs and sour cream.
A handful of dried forest products is poured with water for 1.5 hours, after which the water is drained and the product is thoroughly washed. After that, pour 1 liter of fresh water and boil for about an hour. Onion is fried in a pan until golden brown, boiled mushrooms are added, and fried under the lid for about 15 minutes. Stirring with a whisk, enter 3 tbsp. tablespoons of flour, then diluted with mushroom broth to the desired consistency. Add sour cream, herbs and spices to taste. This sauce is well suited to pilaf, pasta dishes, buckwheat, meat.
There are a lot of recipes for mushroom dishes in different forms - these are soups, pilaf, and roast, and pastes, and sauces. All these recipes combine a unique aroma with nutty notes and a memorable rich mushroom flavor.
Borovik is a unique forest product, a source of protein. Their high palatability with low calorie content makes it possible to widely use these forest products in cooking, and the presence of extractives, sulfur, beta-glucan, ergotionine, lecithin, vitamins and minerals can be used in the complex treatment of serious diseases (oncology, tuberculosis, atherosclerosis).
The presence of a large amount of chitin in the boletus shells makes it difficult to digest their proteins. Therefore, there are a number of contraindications for the use of these products. Partially, the problem of difficult digestibility is solved by drying mushrooms, which facilitates the bioavailability of mushroom proteins.
To enjoy delicious forest white products, you must be able to properly collect, harvest and store them. Before climbing into the forest for mushrooms, you need to replenish your luggage of knowledge with valuable information about the rules for collecting them, so that delicious food does not turn out to be dangerous. When buying boletus mushrooms in finished form (dried, salted, canned), preference should be given to products of industrial manufacturers, rather than random artisanal culinary specialists.