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Where to find Porcini ( King Bolete ) in BC?

Porcini are also called Cep, Penny Bun, Steinpilz and King Bolete,  in Latin… Boletus Edulis.   The King of Mushrooms!  Soo nutty and savoury, they’re great in pate, sauces, gravy etc.  And they’re HUGE, so it’s easy picking.  I love these with fresh pasta.  But how to find them?

Boletus edulis

Where do I look?

  • Forests of Douglas Fir, Hemlock, Pine, Spruce… they hide under bramble.  Higher altitudes are better.

When do I look?

  • Fall in BC

Key Features?

  • No gills – sponge instead (pores) – white, yellow or brown in age
  • Brown cap, white flesh, mostly not blueing when bruised
  • Fat, light brown stem (bulbous)
  • Growing on the ground in the forest
  • For a chef… the smell of nuts and gravy (not bitter tasting!)

Know these look alikes first…

  • Blue Staining Boletes – Some are poisonous, some edible – for experienced mushroomers
  • Red pored Boletes – Avoid these… especially SATAN’s Bolete! (ehm… I’ve never seen one out here)
  • Other great edible Boletus – Admirable Bolete, Zeller’s Bolete (which does stain blue, see pic), White King Bolete

Left – Zeller’s, Right top – White King, Right bottom – Admirable

How to cook them?

  • Pick the freshest, firmest you can otherwise you’ll have to ignore the maggots:)  Protein!
  • You can remove & discard the pore layer if it’s not really fresh.
  • Slice and dry them, so that they keep their texture, this is key.  If you just fry them they will turn to slugs in the pan.  Or try searing them on high heat, no oil, no water in (pan or grill)- only if you get them really firm and young!
  • Mushroom Pate recipe

Fun Factoid

  • Nibbling a piece of the cap is a common identification technique for certain mushrooms (Boletus included).  Chew a piece and spit it out.  If it tastes bitter, this is not your porcini.  You want it to taste nutty, meaty… then you’re in business.

Please use caution when hunting for edible mushrooms.  This is just a rough guide which is no substitute for going out with an experienced wildcrafter.  Most mushrooms aren’t deadly poisonous, but it’s no fun getting sick and not worth the risk!  Come with us on a mushroom tour to start you off on the right foot.  

David Arora’s – All that the rain promises and more is a great handbook to give you more information on specific Pacific Northwest mushrooms.

12 Responses

  1. Wild Mushroom Foraging in BC
    Wild Mushroom Foraging in BC September 18, 2013 at 12:36 am |

    […] Porcini – Boletus Edulis […]

  2. Avoiding BC Poisonous Mushrooms
    Avoiding BC Poisonous Mushrooms October 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm |

    […] Blue Staining Boletes – Some are poisonous, a few are edible – for experienced mushroomers only […]

  3. Inno
    Inno November 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm | | Reply

    I wish i receive a contact to organize a Holiday in tour wonderful country to find mushrooms and fishing

  4. giuseppe luciani
    giuseppe luciani September 23, 2016 at 2:01 am | | Reply

    Where is a good place in kelowna to lock for porcini

  5. Che
    Che October 15, 2017 at 3:14 pm | | Reply

    any places for Ontario?

  6. Lord Barham
    Lord Barham November 20, 2017 at 2:03 am | | Reply

    Related mushrooms that are worth looking for are Leccinum ponderosum and Suillis brevipes (but peel off the cap skin and pores before eating). Leccinum aurantiacum used to be considered a good edible (I’ve eaten enough of them), but some people in Idaho were poisoned by them and now no one picks them anymore.

  7. tracy
    tracy November 28, 2017 at 12:40 am | | Reply

    Is that the king Bolete mushroom be found at BC ?

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