Discovering bluish mushrooms

Too often rejected, Blue Bolets deserve a different reputation. The toxic varieties rub shoulders with some pearls of the gastronomy of the undergrowth.

Suillellus luridus (Boletus luridus)
Suillellus luridus (Boletus luridus)

They turn blue, black or red

Boletes are typically recognized by their hymenium, a fertile reproductive part located under the cap, made up of pores. The meeting of a pore fungus always provokes a small emotion, followed by a great disappointment if at the first touch, hat, foot, flesh turn blue. The abandonment of said fungus is immediate, irremediable. And yet if it turns blue it is not because of its toxicity.

Many varieties turn blue, intensely and quickly in the genera Cyanoboletus, Imperator and Neoboletus, more weakly or randomly in others. This phenomenon is due to a chemical reaction involving a chromogen oxidizing on contact with air and transforming into boletoquinone. None of its substances are toxic, nor are Boletes tinting pink, gray-black or reddish.

So why do Blue Bolets have a bad reputation?

They are sometimes toxic

If the Bolets have excellent species, unfortunately some cause heavy poisoning. The known Bolet de satan, Rubroboletus satanas, which has certainly contributed to the bad reputation of blue boletus, although it shows little oxidation, induces nausea, diarrhea and vomiting after ingestion. Its whitish to gray hat, its yellow then red pores, the base of its bright pink foot and its scent of carrion, its presence under deciduous trees, particularly oaks, at the end of summer, allow it to be identified.

Other Rubroboletus, the Bolet joli Rubrobolus beautifultus, with a white to greyish cap edged with lilac pink, at the base of the foot pink, with yellow pores, is also poisonous. Rare, it will only be found under deciduous trees, oaks in particular, in the Mediterranean region or hot resorts.

Like his cousin, the chicory boletus Rubroboletus le-galiae, causes strong intestinal disturbances. Its brownish hat gradually tinting pink, its yellow pores, its cuticle emitting a delicate odor of chicory, its blueness, characterizes it. Uncommon, it is found under oaks in general.

Or indigestible

Other genre, the pale Bolete, Suillellus luridus, darkening to the touch, bluish when cut. Poisonous raw, it remains indigestible when cooked, for some, if it is cooked correctly, it would be consumable. Less risky for the intestines, the Boletus on a fine foot, Boletus calopus, is however inedible, just like Caloboletus, with bitter flesh, especially Caloboletus radicans, the radicant Bolete. Without forgetting to quote the powdered Bolete Where Boletus ink stain, Cyanoboletus pulverulentus, with intense bluing followed by total blackening, formerly consumed and now not recommended due to its high arsenic content.

Others are very good edibles

All these Toxic mushrooms to indigestible must not obscure the excellent Red footed bolete, Neoboletus erythropus. Velvety dark-brown hat, orange pores, yellow foot punctuated with red, intense bluing: it cannot go unnoticed. In addition to its undeniable taste qualities, it has the peculiarities of keeping a firm flesh for a long time and the worms hardly appreciate it. To consume, however, well cooked, raw, it would be slightly toxic.

To variety yellow, Neoboletus junquilleus, is also a very good edible. This entirely yellow mushroom, barely touching blue, is unfortunately rare and should be protected.

Much more common, le Bolet bai, Imleria badia, will meet under the pines in general. Its bay-brown hat, its clear pores, its cylindrical foot, help to distinguish it. Pores and tubes turn blue strongly, the flesh more slightly. Good edible, it is a shame to put it aside.

Some lend themselves to discussion

Depending on the sensitivities of each one, the local particularities, certain blue boletus are consumed, or not. Thereby, Gyroporus cyanescens, the blue boletus or indigotier boletus, developing under deciduous or coniferous trees, uncommon, would be a good edible but with laxative tendencies.

Butyroboletus fuscoroseus, the faux-royal bolete, the tubes of which are clearly blue, the flesh of the cap more moderately, is an edible sometimes appreciated, just like Rubrobolus dupainii, Dupain’s Boletus, rather rare, with a pinkish-red cap, edible at medium interest, especially after heavy cooking.

The appendiculate Bolete, Butyroboletus appendiculatus, with a reddish cap sometimes brown-beige, very slightly bluish, is pleasantly consumed. To each his own list, but the common and summer Xerocomellus chrysenteron, the yellow-fleshed boletus, which has the particularity of turning blue, then blushing, edible in particular, can finish this one.

If the blue boletus deserve to be rediscovered, with varieties with undeniable gastronomic qualities, the poisonous boletus with unchanging color also deserve a foray. Let’s not forget the very bitter Tylopilus felleus where the Suillus with laxative tendencies …

Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by

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