And although the cap of this mushroom is bright orange in color, “hunting” for it is not an easy task. Even experienced mushroom pickers call this forest resident a luck mushroom. You have no idea which one we are talking about? This is a boletus. A basket of these red-eyed beauties is valued almost like porcini mushrooms, and they also have more than enough useful properties.
The scientific name for this fungus is Leccinum aurantiacum. But in everyday life, he is known as a boletus, as attentive lovers of the "silent hunt" noticed: more often this handsome man is found under aspens. Although it is not worth wondering if you are lucky enough to find it under firs, pines, birches, oaks, in coniferous-deciduous forests and even at the edges or glades of groups or solitary. True, there are representatives of some varieties that differ from their "brothers" from aspen.
This type of mushroom is common in Eurasia and North America, in temperate forests. They are found in shady thickets, on moist soil. These beauties love to hide among blueberries, ferns, in mosses and grass, although sometimes their bright hats are visible along forest paths.
The classic boletus is a mushroom that resembles a boletus, but with an orange-red hat (up to 20 cm in diameter), a chunky leg and thick pulp. It reaches the largest dimensions on the 10th day of growth, some specimens grow up to 2 kg. A distinctive feature of the young mushroom is a hemispherical hat, the edges of which are tightly pressed against the leg. The peel on the hat is not sticky, like butter, but dry, with some velvety. The club-shaped leg in adult boletus reaches 22 cm. It is easy to recognize by small scales of black or brown. The "hunt" for boletus lasts from the beginning of summer until October.
Because of the bright hat in ancient times, he was nicknamed by many other names: red mushroom, red-headed, krasnik, obabek, and calish. Some suggest that the mushroom got its name also because the hat in color resembles the bright autumn leaves of aspen.
Varieties of boletus
And now about the varieties. As already mentioned, several species of Leccinum aurantiacum are known to science. Some of them are edible, and some can cause serious harm to humans. Although the latter are, of course, these are no longer true boletus, but their false counterparts.
The first sign of boletus is a red-orange hat and a white leg with dark scales, like a boletus. But it’s not uncommon - white boletus, which are found in spruce forests, and yellow-brown - “residents” of mixed plantings. On the moist soils of the hog, pink-and-white aspen trees grow, under poplars - gray.
Another ability of the boletus is to change the color of the legs on the cut. Initially, the white flesh after damage changes color to pink, then dark blue or black. And this should not be scary. The fact is that in the composition of the fungus there are components that are oxidized upon contact with air and enzymes. But such a reaction does not affect the nutritional characteristics and taste.
Are there any doubts about the edibility of the mushroom? It's time to look under the hat.
All representatives of the bolet family (including aspen), under the cap, have a thick porous layer (up to 3 cm). As a rule, it is in light colors: white, with a tan or gray tint.
Classification by type
At first glance, it might seem that all the aspen trees are similar. But experienced mushroom pickers know that this is not the case. And different species are characterized by their own distinguishing features.
This edible mushroom is found under deciduous trees: aspen, birch, beech, poplar, willow, oak. It is small - up to 15 cm in height and with a hat about 10 cm in diameter. The hats of these representatives are bright red or red-brown, the scales on the leg are gray-white. It grows in Europe, Siberia, the Far East and the Caucasus; it is found in the tundra under dwarf birches.
Yellow brown boletus
Other names - red-brown or uneven-skinned girl. A fairly large representative of the forests - up to 25 cm in height, up to 15 cm in diameter. Hats are yellow-brown in shades or with sand-orange color, legs are usually gray with frequent grainy scales of brown-black color. This species is common in temperate forests. Mushrooms are found near birches, aspen trees, in pine and spruce-birch forests.
A distinctive feature of young mushrooms is a white hat, which, however, reaches 25 cm in diameter with age and darkens to a gray-brown color. The leg is white, with the same scales. Such a mushroom is lucky to find few. If desired, it is worth looking for it on the moist soils of spruce-birch forests, under aspens. Geographically distributed in North America, Western Europe, Siberia, the Baltic countries, in some regions of Russia.
Oak Red Head
More than other varieties, it resembles boletus. Grows in the shade of oaks. It can be recognized by a brown-coffee hat with orange tints and a leg covered with reddish-brown scales. These mushrooms are quite common in the northern hemisphere - in temperate forests.
Boletus with painted legs
This representative is less than others reminiscent of ordinary boletus. His hat is often flat and uncharacteristic of pinkheads pink. The leg is covered with the same scales (or red). Distributed in the eastern regions of North America and Asia, in deciduous and coniferous forests.
This is an edible mushroom with a dark raspberry hat and a leg covered with brown scales. Its height and cap diameter rarely exceed 15 cm. The “hunt” follows it in the humid spruce and pine forests of Europe. Experienced mushroom pickers advise, first of all, to carefully examine the foothills of pines and bearberry thickets - there the redhead hides most often.
It is not difficult to recognize this mushroom. The hat has a brick, dark red or orange hue, and reddish scales dot the leg. Distinctive feature: the white leg after damage quickly turns purple or gray-black.
A small representative of the family of aspen boletus with a chestnut hat, a cylindrical leg with light brown scales. Rarely solitary. Mushrooms grow in all coniferous forests, but best of all under spruces. Sometimes found in mixed forests.
The fruiting season of boletus is very long. And the summer representatives are somewhat different from their October "brothers."
People noticed these features for a very long time, and therefore they divided the mushrooms into three seasonal groups.
Spikes are boletus that appear in late June and disappear at the end of the first decade of July. These are the very first mushrooms, which are usually few. In the designated period, yellow-brown and white aspen mushrooms are found.
Dairy plants - appear in mid-July and bear fruit until late August - early September. This is the "starry" time of red boletus, oak, black-scaled.
Deciduous trees are the last mushrooms that appear in the second half of September. Up to the first frosts, you can "hunt" redheads in pine and spruce forests with rich coniferous litter, which protects mushrooms from the cold.
In addition to the fact that boletus is one of the most beautiful, tasty and healthy mushrooms, they are also one of the safest forest gifts.
Despite the impressive number of varieties, these fungi are practically not poisonous. But novice mushroom pickers still often wonder: what does a false boletus look like. However, more experienced ones assure: there are no false redheads in nature. The only problem is that, due to inexperience, some take the mustard (bile fungus) for the boletus. It is possible to determine the “false boletus” by the brown mesh on the stalk characteristic of mustard (instead of scales), pink or brown spots on the cut, and bitter taste.
Mushrooms are called vegetarian meat.
And all because in this type of product, and the boletus is no exception, contains extremely rich reserves of proteins. It is interesting that the human body absorbs proteins from aspen boletus almost completely - by 80%. Therefore, this mushroom is an unsurpassed source of amino acids and other nutrients important for the restoration of weakened organisms.
Boletus is a good source of fiber, carbohydrates and healthy fats. They contain vitamins A, C, group B, as well as impressive reserves of iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium. Interestingly, in the boletus boletus B vitamins are contained in almost the same amount as in cereals, and the reserves of vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) are similar to the concentration in yeast or liver. Some studies prove the anti-cellulite properties of fungi.
In percentage terms, the composition of boletus looks something like this:
- 90% - water;
- 4% - proteins;
- 2% - fiber;
- 1.5% - carbohydrates;
- 1% - fats;
- 1.5% - minerals and vitamins.
Boletus belongs to the category of diet food. In 100 grams of the product there is no more than 44 kcal, and a zero glycemic index makes them safe for people with diabetes and obesity.
In the course of laboratory studies, it was proved that boletus well cleanse the body of toxins and toxic substances. The broth of these mushrooms is an extremely nutritious product that is often compared to meat broth. For this reason, mushrooms are recommended to people after surgical operations, severe protracted diseases, to strengthen immunity. But it is still worth noting that most of the useful components are concentrated in the mushroom cap, the leg is relatively poor in nutritional components.
Even in ancient times, people noticed that mushrooms are not only tasty, but also healthy product. More than two thousand years ago, in ancient China, mushrooms were used as an effective therapeutic agent. Healed various ailments with this product in Russia. And some of the mushrooms were valued even more than medicinal herbs.
Honey mushrooms, for example, helped treat intestinal disorders, saffron milk mushrooms, chanterelles and mushrooms - colds and infectious diseases, oils - headaches, raincoats quickly healed wounds, and aspen mushrooms used to cleanse the blood.
Do not forget about the healing properties of mushrooms and modern researchers who have created a science that studies the healing properties of mushrooms - fungotherapy.
And although mushrooms are considered a useful product, it is still important to use them with caution to persons with diseased kidneys or impaired liver function.
Mushrooms grown along roads and in contaminated areas are dangerous, as their spongy bodies easily accumulate carcinogens and toxins. It should be remembered that improperly prepared mushrooms (undercooked) are the cause of botulism. And again: the right boletus will never be bitter.
Use in the kitchen
Boletus is one of the most delicious mushrooms. To taste, they resemble boletus, and those are known to be considered the best after cep.
There are many ways to harvest this forest delicacy. They are suitable for boiling, frying, drying, pickling and pickling. But with almost any harvesting method, the mushroom loses its bright color. The exception is pickled boletus, which retain the beauty of their colors. But so that the mushrooms do not darken so much, they are soaked in acidified water.
Many recipes use whole mushrooms, although some gourmets refuse legs, considering this part to be tough. But in any case, it’s important to cook fresh mushrooms as soon as possible after harvest, as they spoil in a matter of hours. The easiest way is to boil the boletus. Young mushrooms reach full readiness within 20 minutes after boiling. It will take longer to fry - from half an hour to 40 minutes. They are suitable for freezing. For several months, both raw peeled and already slightly cooked are well stored in the freezer.
For longer storage, the mushrooms can be dried. But it’s important to follow some rules. Firstly, boletus should not be washed before drying. Their spongy body quickly absorbs water, which can no longer be eliminated. Fresh delicacies must be thoroughly cleaned of branches, leaves, insects, earth (non-rigid brushes are suitable for this), then large ones should be cut into pieces, small ones should be left whole. There are several ways to dry. If you prefer drying in the oven, then it is important that the temperature in the cabinet does not exceed 50 degrees. Baking sheet with parchment and mushrooms, placed on the top shelf - so the mushrooms will not burn. For even drying, stir the contents of the pan from time to time, especially if a large portion of the delicacy is prepared.
How to grow in the garden
Do you think that you can only collect boletus in the woods? You are mistaken. These red-headed beauties can be grown in the garden.
To germinate "home" mushrooms, you will need either a grain mycelium or a wild mycelium. To improve productivity, it is better to use soil taken from under aspen, and already sow it with a thin even layer of grain mycelium. In the heat and drought, the mycelium will have to be moistened periodically. The first crop appears 2-3 months after sowing. Then you can pick mushrooms every two weeks. Such a mushroom bed is capable of producing crops up to 5 years.
Researchers call mushrooms the most amazing organisms on the planet that can combine the characteristics of plants and animals. From the most ancient times, man uses this product for food and as a medicine, mushrooms are able to replace meat for vegetarians and enrich the body with minerals and vitamins. Meanwhile, they remain one of the most dangerous products - false double mushrooms or poisonous species are the strongest poison on the planet. So do not forget about vigilance when collecting or buying mushrooms, and never cook species unknown to you.