Edibility Rules for Boletes

Discussion in 'Mushroom Questions and Info' started by Michigan Mike, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    Edibility Rules for Boletes

    by Michael Kuo

    (The rules for eating boletes will only help you if you're sure you know what a "bolete" is; please study the keys and their accompanying texts, especially the Key to Boletes, if you are unsure. Please also read our Disclaimer.)

    The boletes form a relatively safe (and decidedly tasty!) group of mushrooms, as far as edibility is concerned. However, some poisonous species exist, and a few fatalities resulting from boletes are on record. The rules below reflect what is currently known about boletes--but there is, of course, always the possibility that you may find a mushroom that is uncharacteristic or simply unknown. Always experiment with new species by eating only a bite or two the first time, and waiting 48 hours before continuing!

    If you have some experience with boletes, you will notice that the rules wind up excluding some good edibles (Boletus bicolor, for example). But they will also exclude all the boletes known to be poisonous--and by the time a mushroom collector can distinguish Boletus bicolor from the poisonous Boletus miniato-olivaceus, she will be identifying mushrooms to species with enough confidence to consult edibility reports for individual mushrooms.



    1. Eat Only Fresh, Young Specimens

    There are two reasons for this. First, you will eliminate the possibility of simple food poisoning resulting from the consumption of rotting food (and you will avoid eating some nasty critters that tend to inhabit older specimens). Second, this will force you to consider only specimens whose macrofeatures are still easily recognizable. Pore surfaces of some boletes can eventually become brownish or blackish, regardless of the colors they manifested their prime--and bruising or staining reactions are no longer trustworthy with old mushrooms.



    2. Avoid Boletes with Red or Orange Pore Surfaces

    The currently documented most-poisonous boletes, like Boletus satanas, have red or orange pore surfaces, like the mushroom in the illustration (see the top arrow). Do not eat any bolete whose pore surface is red or orange, or some version of these colors.



    3. Avoid Boletes That Stain or Bruise Blue to Green

    Admittedly, this rule eliminates nearly half of all boletes. But it also eliminates all the boletes, besides the red- and orange-pored species, known to be poisonous, or for which edibility is suspect--particularly those in the Fraterni constellation. In the illustration, the bottom arrow indicates the flesh of a bolete turning blue on exposure to air. Also check for blue bruising by teasing the cap, stem, and (especially) the pore surface with the flat side of a knife.

    4. Avoid Orange-Capped Leccinum Species

    Leccinum includes some very good edibles, but the record is becoming more and more clear: some people are adversely affected by some of the orange-capped species. Marilyn Shaw has documented this in Colorado (see Bessette, 2000, 374), and some field guides will mention the possibility. I know from personal experience; I am one of the "some people" adversely affected--and I can tell you that the poisoning is not at all how you want to spend one or two days of your life!

    There are many Leccinum mushrooms with orange caps. But since Leccinum species are notoriously difficult to separate, even for experts, you should avoid any orange-capped species. If you are not sure you can distinguish Leccinum species from other boletes, you should change this rule and not eat any boletes with orange or orangeish caps.

    © 2000-2005, MushroomExpert.Com

    Copied from here http://missourimorels.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
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  2. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    These have helped me and others in the past with boletes especially
    since some are so similar and some have many variations.
    I still try to Id them to species before I decide to try one
    for the first time.
     

  3. StumpJumper

    StumpJumper

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  4. twohats

    twohats

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    I stick to the simple shrooms,morels,hens ,chickens. But the other day i found a bolete,I think. I dont plan on eating it. But I did save it for some photos to post on here. I will try and get the photos up as soon as I can.Just looking to see if someone might have an idea about it.

    Thanks for the posted information Mike.
     
  5. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    No problem and sounds good George!

    The only thing I think I should add is that when you find a bolete that
    follows the rules it is possible that it is a bitter bolete
    since they generally meet the rules and look similar to good edible boletes.
    At this point you can break off a small piece from the top of the cap
    and chew it and then spit it out.
    You'll know if it is a bitter or not. lol

    mike
     
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  6. knockoff64

    knockoff64

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    Thanks for the post Mike!

    I'm just starting with summer mushrooms. It's nice to have that spelled out in one place.
     
  7. twohats

    twohats

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    Found this a few days ago. I never hunted Boletes, and found this one and a few others while fishing. Click the images to inlarge.

    Thanks
    Dave

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



     
  8. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    Hi Dave
    Nice job on the photos.
    I think it is probably one of the bitters which is a member of the
    Tylopilus family.(which not all are bitter and a few are edible)
    The pinkish/brownish pores are an indicator and have seen this one before.
    It looks like it passed the test and a taste test would have been
    next for me.
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/tylopilus.html

    I'm no expert and boletes can be hard to id quite often.

    mike
     
  9. twohats

    twohats

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    Thanks Mike,

    I dont have the nerves to try them yet, do to lack of exp. But very cool finding this. Saw a few chants starting to pop as well. But I am already looking forward to the fall for Hens. The wife and I can never get enough of them and the frezzer is still very full from last fall.
     
  10. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    I thought I'd add to this for anyone new to boletes.
    Once you find a bolete, next step is to break it down
    to which group (genus)
    it is in first to ultimately figure out it's exact species.
    (easier said than done..lol)


    The basic groups (genus) are

    Boletus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/boletus.html

    Gyroporus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/gyroporus.html

    Leccinum
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/leccinum.html

    Strobilomyces
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/strobilomyces.html

    Suillus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/suillus.html

    Tylopilus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/tylopilus.html


    A few other miscellaneous are

    Boletellus and Austroboletus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/boletellus.html

    Chalciporus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/chalci...piperatus.html

    Gyrodon
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/gyrodon_merulioides.html


    Paragyrodon
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/paragy...erosporus.html

    Phylloporus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/phylloporus.html

    Pulveroboletus
    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pulveroboletus_ravenelii.html

    [SIZE=-1]Xanthoconium[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]X. affine[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]X. purpureum[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]X. separans[/SIZE]


    mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  11. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    Keep in mind that any one site or book doesn't list them all and
    there are still a few not even identified yet.
    Boletes are one of the hardest, as there are so many
    that are similar and so many that do not fit a description exactly.
    But there are a few real easy ones that are
    great edibles too.

    When I first started learning about them,
    a friend told me to always look at the stem first,
    because it can tell you quite a bit about it sometimes,
    which turned out to be good advice.

    Those in the boletus and gyroporus groups are some of
    the better edibles imo but there
    are a couple suillus that are pretty good too and
    I have a few friends that like a couple of the Leccinums
    but I never find them in any quantities to even try.
    (just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt)


    As far as the rules above go, those are just a general guideline
    and at this point I've never ate a bolete that I wasn't
    real confident on the id first.

    mike

    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/sitemap.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  12. Roosevelt

    Roosevelt

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    If you spent a summer in the woods and saw 100 different boletes, outta those 100 if you succesfully ID'd 10, on your own, you'd be well on your way to being able to identify most every recorded mushroom in the woods/ fields.

    There are two very good books for identifying boletes. The holy grail of boletes is Smith and Thiers' "boletes of michigan" or "michigan boletes". It is available for free viewing at the "U of M press" along with many other excellent books. The other book, which mostly just re-iterates what Smith, Thiers and others before them have previously said is "north american Boletes" by bessette, roody and Bessette.

    I've found upwards of 3-400 apparently different boletes here in Michigan. Outta those I might have positively ID'd 40 at most. At least 50 haven't been mentioned or cited in any of the books or online resources I use. There are many boletes that still have not been labeled by the label people.

    I use the above rules for bolete ediblility that Mike posted, and eat quite a few without a 100% ID in small quantities, but if a shroom passes all the tests and still smells funny I don't eat it. Many non-staining boletes have a chemical smell to me and I don't eat em.
     
  13. Michigan Mike

    Michigan Mike

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    I agree with you Roosevelt and have both books which
    are real helpful.
    And I'm amazed at how very few boletes I actually know for sure.

    As far as the "Edibility Rules to Bolete" I have no problems
    with them as long as a person knows hows to tell the difference between
    what a Leccinum and a Suillus is ect.. or it might lead to some
    other problems for them latter.

    mike
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  14. fasthunter

    fasthunter

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    I've tried boletes I haven't ID'd before, that follow the rules, but I don't usually do that. I like to know if the books say it will taste good:eek::lol:. I've heard of that book as well. I've been wanting to get it for a while, but I've been tight on money. It's definitely one I want to get in the future though.