[English] plural ceps

The boletus, porcini or cep mushroom is a rightly highly-regarded edible mushroom this is a large, round, tan to brown boletus mushroom with a swollen white stem and fleshy, broad cap. It has spore-bearing tubes on its undersides rather than gills. This mushroom grows at higher elevations around 1800 ft and can be found in chestnut, beech, oak and pine woods from June to November. It is the mushroom called porcini by the Italians and it is slightly luminous at night. It dries well, intensifying the somewhat yeasty, earthy aroma and flavour still further. In its dried form it adds interest to the taste of stocks and stews, and Simon Hopkinson describes them as like plastic bags full of what, "quite honestly, resembled nothing more than tree bark yet smelt of pigsties". It is as well to cook boletes for quite a long time, simply because of their size. They can be confused with other, less palatable mushrooms, but most of the boletes are edible and some are exceptional. (If gathering mushrooms you must be absolutely certain what you have before you eat them as many are very poisonous.)

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