Saturday, August 26, 2006

Mushroomers 2: The Return of the King

I love all good mushrooms but by far my favorite is the king bolete, Boletus edulis. It is good fresh, dries well, is (at least in our area) HUGE, utterly unmistakable, and when you find one you will find many.

Always before we have found it a few weeks after the monsoon began-- say, in late July and early August. I thought that if the rains began late the "crop" would skip until the next year. This year, the rains started late but never quit-- the afternoon clouds loom up as I type these words. I was skeptical, as was Simon, who thought the dry aquifer would need a year's replenishing before we had a real crop.

We were wrong.

Libby persuaded me to take "one last" trip to the mountains and here, at about 8500 feet, high up in the road cut, we found our first of the year.



Some are in more normal places.



Some are enormous.



A few can make quite a few dried mushrooms.



Into the pan!

6 comments:

Reid Farmer said...

That's some spruce behind you in the picture, Steve.

Steve Bodio said...

Just go up a couple of thousand feet...

pluvialis said...

Superb! There is nothing like fungus collecting, is there. Hunting, but not hunting, at the same time. It's shaping up to be a good fungus year here, too: lots of rain, and just in time, after an unutterably dry summer. My favourite quarry (apart from chanterelles, which are rare here) is the Knight's Tricholoma, T. equestre, which is very, very local here. It's insanely delicious, and has recently been recategorised as poisonous. Hey ho. Not going to stop me from eating it on toast, oh no...

Rebecca K. O'Connor said...

Same some fungus for me!

Steve Bodio said...

Pluvialis-- T. equestre is rated excellent by the two guides I live by. Says David Arora: "Edible and excellent-- one of the least appreciated and most flavorful of our fleshy fungi, though a few people are adversely affected by it".

It is a relative of the matsutake, which in the Pacific Northwest is dangerous because pickers have been knnown to go to war over it!

Rebecca-- no fear-- we have a whole winter's stock in.

Reid Farmer said...

Pluvialis - chanterelles are big business here. I did a post earlier this year on mushroom rustlers just north of us in Lompoc

http://stephenbodio.blogspot.com/2006/02/mushroom-rustlers.html