July 20, 2010

A Walk in the Woods: King of the Mushrooms?

What a thrill I experienced on my walk today: as I was coming to the end of the wooded section of the path, there in front of me was the largest mushroom I had ever seen. I could hardly believe that I'd found such a thing, and as I looked at its underside, I realized that I'd found a bolete, which I thought was a King Bolete, also known as porcini or cep. I didn't have my camera with me, so photographed it at home.

The cap is nearly 7 inches across, 1 1/2 inches thick, and the mushroom stands 7 inches high. The stem is about 2 inches across at its widest point. A huge mushroom.

Then I tasted a tiny bit of the white flesh, and instead of being pleasant tasting, it was very bitter. I read in the link above that what I'd likely found was the bitter bolete, Tylopilus felleus, rather than the King Bolete, Boletus edulis. How disappointing! And here I'd had thoughts of a mushroom omelette tonight and pizza tomorrow. It'll have to be cultivated food for dinner rather than wild.


  1. What a thrill; I've never seen a mushroom even remotely that big!

  2. Hi Altoon,...When we lived in East Hapmton our good friends Tino & Ruth Nivola showed us their prolific Boletus edulis hunting grounds and we were all able to get bags full. I remember a 4-tiered mushroom dryer we made. Alas have never found any in VT. Occasionally will see one with the yellow spongey underbelly, but not really edible though insects & critters seem to sample.

  3. Linda, it was a thrill. Except for shelf mushrooms, I'd never seen anything nearly as big.

    Gail, sorry to hear you've never found Boletus edulis in Vermont; I'd hoped there might be some. At least the chantarelles are beginning to pop up.