I can identify that mushroom as the Poplar Boletus (Boletus duriusculus) … They are found under poplar trees, especially the deciduous Populus canescens. A tell-tale sign is the white, tinged blue-green on the stem. These mushrooms are delicious.
Great so I found more - does not look like anyone is harvesting in this poplar forest.
But I am damn paranoid and and a bit apprehensive about just gobbling it down! Lol
So I've fried some with butter and just ate a small bit to make sure!
What is the best way to cook them and can one eat the stalks etc as well?
The Poplar boletus is best when it is still young and firm …
I place them whole, after cleaning all the sand off them, onto a baking tray, with a whole garlic chopped up, with olive oil and salt and pepper…
I bake them in the oven at 180 degree C, for about 30 minutes … yummy
Thanks Gary - that sounds delicious!!
The two you have in the photo are oldish … Remember that if you have old ones to eat, that you remove the polypore (sponge) from underneath the cap of the mushroom. The polypore is full of millions of spores, and if added it to your dish, it turns into a slimy-gooey mess, almost unpalatable … So young and firm is as the cap is opening, when the polypore is still a solid white-looking structure …
I do not have a stall at the Biscuit Mill , but supply the ‘Funky Fungi’, who have a stall there, with wild mushrooms. My house is relatively close to the Biscuit Mill, so when you are next in the area, give me a call to see if I am available to chat.
Thanks again Gary!
I am sort of hooked now! Lol I am very curious – there is not much on the web if one Googles Boletus duriusculus. Can you recommend a good book on South African mushrooms?
1. A Field Guide to the Mushrooms of South Africa – H.Levin, M.Branch, S.Rappoport, D.Mitchell – Struik Publishing – First edition 1985; second edition 1987
2. Field Guide – Mushrooms of Southern Africa – G.C.A.van der Westhuizen, Albert Eicker – Struik Publishing – 1994
3. Longman’s Field Handbooks – Some South African Edible Fungi – E.L.Stephens & M.M.Kidd – Longman’s, Green and Co, Ltd. – 1953
4. Longman’s Field Handbooks – Some South African Poisonous & Inedible Fungi – E.L.Stephens & M.M.Kidd – Longman’s, Green and Co, Ltd. – 1953
5. Sasol First Field Guide to Mushrooms of Southern Africa – Margo Branch, George Branch – Struik Publishing – 2001
6. Pocket Guide – Mushrooms of South Africa – Marieka Gryzenhout – Struik Publishing – 2010
You may need to search old secon-hand book shops before you are able to obtain your own copies of the older South African mushroom books. I know that most of the City Council Libraries have the “A Field Guide to the Mushrooms of South Africa” in stock. I started out by taking all the mushroom books out of the libraries and reading them from cover to cover, and then buying mushroom books from all over the world. I now have a collection of almost 100 mushroom books.
Boletus duriusculus is very much a South African mushroom, growing under the Populus canescens, which is very much a South African Poplar tree …. So this is the reason why you do not find much about it in other mushroom books from around the world, or on the internet for that matter …
The course offered by the Mushroom Academy in Stellenbosch is for Mushroom Cultivation … I believe that the Mushroom Academy has gone under (bankrupt) … I went on one of the courses, and you would be able to learn more by purchasing the mushroom books by Paul Stamets than attending the courses … A friend of mine who cultivates mushrooms full-time says that Adriaan Smit of the Mushroom Academy has never grown a mushroom in his life, and learnt all he teaches from the internet … Unfortunately there are no courses on mushroom foraging in South Africa. Perhaps I should consider setting one up?
Do you still do the Shitake logs? If so I’d definitely want one.
I think there is definitely room for a foraging course – I think you will be surprised how much interest there would be. Not sure if one can quit one’s day job yet but you have a great platform to advertise it by all the places that buy from you. People that buy wild mushrooms will most certainly be interested in something of the sorts. But I think it would be scale of economics as well – it will have to be affordable and likewise also be worth your while to do too.
I suspect though that this will be a very seasonal thing though? I think you have built up quite a reputation already and that will give credibility to the course.
Anyway, I will enroll for your first course!