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Aug 24, 2014 07:46 AM

Mushrooms are up!

The season is upon us! This morning's haul was over 5 lbs of porcini mushrooms (boletes edulis) from my secret spot. They grow under spruce trees exclusively. Happy hunting, everyone.

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  1. Impressive!! Butter with a hint of salt and pepper would be wonderful. Hoe are you cooking them?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nevy

      Not sure yet. I usually begin any mushroom season with a simple risotto or pasta. This progresses through mushroom lasagna, mushroom strudel, mushroom turnovers and steak with a mushroom wine sauce. Eventually, we can take no more of this and I just dehydrate them and put them away for winter. These are really wonderful things.

    2. Tonight's dinner. About half of the porcinis were too wormy to eat (sad) but there was more than enough for a big pot of risotto. Delicious. I'll be going out hunting again tomorrow or the day after.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Nyleve

        It's interesting you didn't mention any recipes where the porcini were served with fish. When I worked in Rome 20 years back, I'd eat at one place where they would grill a fish and I'd have porcini with it, that is a great combo. I can't recall what sort of fish it was, but I think it was sea bass.

        1. re: foodyDudey

          That does sound delicious. I tend to use them either where they're the star or alongside red meat, sometimes chicken. On the rare occasion that I find a really large one without any worms, I have grilled it and it's just eye-crossingly good. Had them that way in Italy also - simply grilled with olive oil and salt. If I happen to get my mitts on porcini and good fish at the same time, I will try them together.

      2. You are very brave. Wild mushrooms are one of the few things I don't see the risk / benefit ratio worth taking. Some very tasty I'm sure, some deadly I'm certain.

        There are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old bold mushroom hunters.

        Please be very very careful.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PoppiYYZ

          I am very very careful. These particular mushrooms are distinctive and easy to identify. I do not ever pick a mushroom without being 100% certain. I pick two varieties regularly - these porcini (boletus edulis) in the late summer/early fall and morels in the spring. I will occasionally pick another type that I know well - orange lactarius - but they're rarely abundant enough to bother with. I don't like puffballs, which are easy to identify, often abundant but tasteless. I do understand your concern, though. I was taught to pick by Polish friends who knew their mushrooms well and have never had a bad experience in over 30 years of mushrooming.

          1. re: Nyleve

            I've got a couple of spots I go to for chantarelles. They are very easy to identify, and super tasty! It's been a good season for them.

            1. re: Nyleve

              When I was 12, I went to a friends cottage up near Tobermory and her mother took me mushroom picking (Polish family). I did not like mushrooms as a kid, however the adventure sounded fun. We picked for about an hour and went back to the cottage where seh made a wonderful mushroom gravy. I've eaten mushrooms since then. I would love to do that again, however I don't know how to identify the safe ones so I've never been out picking since that one once wonderful time.

          2. I had no idea Porcini's grew here.

            Now I must start looking for Spruce forests......

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sadistick

              I am sworn to secrecy about my spot. They do grow in Ontario, though, and always in association with spruce trees. Good luck. Even if you don't find anything, there's no better way to spend an afternoon than mushroom hunting.

              1. re: Nyleve

                Are they near any color of spruce, or just one type?

            2. Great year for mushrooms. I got over 15 pounds of yellow Morels in the Spring and am now picking Parasols and giant Puffballs (great dried for soup!) I see very few Porcinis at my farm near Tweed, though I have several dozen Blue Spruce. What part of Ontario did you find them?

              1 Reply
              1. re: TorontoTuna

                South of Peterborough. The trees spruces. They were planted in rows many years ago so are not a natural forest. Maybe white spruce. The ground is partly covered with spruce needles, and partly carpeted in deep moss. There are a LOT of different mushrooms in that area but porcinis are so abundant that once they come up I don't bother with anything else. Won't go hunting again, though, until the weather cools. When it's warm they go wormy even before they've fully come out of the ground.