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Synonyms: yellow boletus, cep, porcini

Botanical name: Boletus edulis


The boletus can be found at the edges of woods and meadows, as well as in coniferous woods and open areas of beech woods. It grows preferably together with fir trees in old forest preserves. Like the chanterelle, it is rarely to be found in densely populated areas.


As it has not yet been possible to cultivate the boletus, it is not available the year round, but only in the period between June and October, when it may be found in the woods or at markets and in well-assorted shops. Boletus is unfortunately extremely popular and frequently sold out after only a short time.

Appearance, taste, characteristics

The appearance of the boletus is striking, the stem usually being almost as thick as the cap. At the beginning the cap grows close to the stem and is globular; later it becomes a half sphere or even flatter, and when the mushroom is fully grown it has a diameter of 8–25 cm. The dull brown surface is normally dry and can become smeary following rainfall; this is a sign of poor quality.

There are no lamellae on the underside of the cap, but rather whitish-to-yellowish tubules. In contrast to mushrooms with lamellae, the spores of boletus form a spongy, finely perforated layer. The stem is up to 15 cm long and bulbous or club-shaped with young mushrooms, cylindrical with older ones. It is white and covered with a greyish layer.

The flesh is also almost white and firm. It tastes quite mild and has a nutty aroma.

There are many varieties of boletus that occur in nature, e.g. pine tree cep, oak boletus, summer cep, birch boletus and negro's head or bronzed boletus.


The boletus is one of the most nutritious mushrooms. It is rich in proteins and fibre; particularly the protein content is higher than in many other mushrooms and in many types of vegetables. Niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin D are present in high concentrations.

100 g contain:

Boletus, fresh
Energy (kcal)
Water (g)
Protein (g)
Fat (g)
< 1
Carbohydrates (g)
< 1
Fibre (g)
Vitamin B1 (μg)
Vitamin B2 (μg)
Niacin (NE) (mg)
Pantothenic acid (mg)
Biotin (μg)
Vitamin D (μg)
Potassium (mg)
Phosphorus (mg)
Iron (mg)

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Because of its firm flesh boletus is relatively insensitive to damage; it travels quite well and keeps in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator for several days. For top quality and the best flavour, however, boletus should be eaten as soon as possible after picking or purchasing.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Boletus is used by the food industry to make diverse mushroom dishes, but predominantly it is dried and made into mushroom seasoning. Like other mushrooms, owing to their wonderful aroma, dried boletus are suited for seasoning sauces, soups and other dishes.

Fried, they can be served as a vegetable to accompany many dishes, or they may be a component of a mixed vegetable dish. A particular delicacy is a boletus carpaccio.

In order to enjoy the full aroma, it is recommended that the mushrooms be simply fried in butter or grilled. Because of their flavour they require hardly any seasoning.


Caution: There is a danger of mistaking the inedible Tylopilus felleus and the Boletus luridus for boletus. Boletus luridus is poisonous when raw. They can be identified by the colour of their tubules: those of Tylopilus felleus are pink and those of the Boletus luridus orange-red to red, while those of Boletus edulis are white or yellowish.





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