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Re: my last blog post: OK, I was wrong, the pundits were right this time and the much-anticipated “penny bun storm” appears to have arrived. It’s perhaps a little later than expected (although the mushrooms rarely do what people expect them to do), but there is now no doubt that 2013 is going to go down as a very good year for Boletus edulis, otherwise known as a Porcino or Cep, and the most important commercially collected species in the world. I have in the last week seen numerous pictures posted from all over the UK of large collections of this species, mostly in excellent condition. And in those places where other people haven’t already been out picking, I’m finding plenty myself.
It is also looking like a pretty good year for most of the good edible species. I’m finding more chanterelles (Cantherellus cibarius) than usual, very abundant fruitings of Parasol Mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera), Giant Puffballs (Calvatia gigantea), Hedgehog Mushrooms (Hydnum repandum) and also a wide selection of other boletes, especially the Penny Bun’s “poor relation” the Bay Bolete (Boletus badius). This morning I also found a lovely collection of what are arguably the most beautiful of the pored mushrooms, the Lurid Bolete (Boletus luridus). They almost look too pretty to eat. Be careful if collecting, because there are some poisonous red-pored boletes – this is not the easiest branch of the family as far as safe collecting is concerned. An important identifying feature of this particular species is the persistent red line just above the tubes when cut. Also note that they are poisonous raw, and need to be well cooked.
All things considered, 2013 is shaping up to be a bumper year for fungi (a claim that is made every year in some quarters…this year is actually true). The season is likely to peak over the next three weeks so get ready for what is likely to be a glorious October for fungiphiles!