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The King Bolete:
Porcini/Cep Bun/Steinpilz - Boletus edulis

                               Edibility: CHOICE

The title of most sold wild mushroom worldwide, would either go to the Golden Chanterelle or the King Bolete. It is especially revered in European countries, like Germany, France, England, and Italy. Its a spectacular gourmet mushroom, one of the finest, in fact. The meatiest bolete mushroom, you'll be very surprised at how firm the King Bolete is. They vary greatly in colour and size, however, the King bolete is one of the easiest gourmet mushrooms to identify. The scent is very attractive and the flavour(nutty, cashews), makes the King Bolete an extremely versatile, culinary ally. They usually have 2 major flushes in my region, per season. The first flush follows the initial heavy rains of September, in the PNW. If its not cool enough during the nights, almost every single King Bolete you find, will be riddled with weevils and larvae. There's a 2 week break, then another massive flush following the heavy rain. This second flush is usually bug free and where you will get most of your Kings for the season. There is a small window after the Kings, where the Queen Bolete will begin to emerge.

How To Identify The King Bolete

The King Bolete is a great mushroom for beginners to enjoy, its very easy to identify. Of course, a couple distinguishing traits are that, being a bolete, it has pores, not gills. It has a beautiful webbing on its stalk, which is white to pale brown in colour. The King Bolete also has a huge bulbous base of the stipe, similar to a lightbulb. This is where it gets the name "Cepbun" nickname. 

Cap: Rounded when young, almost flattening as it widens and matures. Sticky, slippery when wet, but smooth and sometimes cracked, when dry. The colour of the cap can vary greatly(from cream to red to brown), but all versions are equally excellent.

Tubes: White, yellow/green with age. Tubes sunk around stalk, with small round pores.

Stalk: Thick white meat, with bulbous base(Not unlike an upside-down lightbulb), beautiful white webbing up the length of stipe. 

Spores: Olive-Brown

When To Forage For The King Bolete

The King is found all over North America and is an easy Bolete to distinguish from others. The King Bolete has two main flushes in my northern part of the PNW. The initial flush comes after the first heavy rains of August/ September, but most of the specimens are infested with bugs at this time, because of the warm weather. There is a 2-3 week break, then, following the next heavy rain and cooler nights, the final, largest flush, begins. They grow with several species of trees including Hemlock, Balsam, Fir, Pine, Oak, Birch, and Aspen, preferring sandy soil. They will grow near the roots at the base of the trees, emerging out of moss, stickmat, or on exposed soil slopes at the sides of roads & trails.

The Intrepid Forager: Episode 12 The King Bolete

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