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My mushroom theme continued... this time with something edible: a tray-full of Boletus Edulis, which is commonly referred to as "porcini" in English, waiting to be cleaned and sliced up.

This mushroom is considered to be one of the tastiest and most "valuable" by most mushroom hunters. It is normally found in coniferous forests and can grow to a diameter of 25 cm (cap) and a weight of 1 kg. But finding one of such a size in the Czech Republic is quite unlikely, as it would normally get picked as soon as its cap peeks out of the ground.

As I indicated in my previous post, Czechs have a bit of a passion for mushroom hunting. Passion is indeed the right word, because what else would make you get up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning to dress up in old sweats and rubber boots, grab a basket and a knife and rush to the forest to make sure no other mushroom picker beats you to "your" spot! Children take part in this maddness from an early age (although perhaps with kids, one would not get up till 6), and most of them enjoy the adventure - although their baskets have to be checked of course, to make sure that all of their "finds" are edible. Although, as the old saying has it: All mushrooms are edible, except some only once.

According to the Czech version of Wikipedia, over 70% of Czechs go out mushroom hunting at least once a year and in 2006, the average weight of the mushrooms collected per Czech household was 8.2 kg! This picture happens to come from that year. It was the most plentiful year in terms of mushrooms that I can remember. You were guaranteed to come out of the forest with a full basket every time you ventured in. I wonder what the statistic would say this year, because it was incredibly dry and mushrooms "did not grow" at all.

P.S. Vasilis made me go on the web and find out that in Greek, the name of this mushroom is βασιλομανίταρο. Their name in French is "cepes", as Patrick noted below.

BennyV, Clementi, vasilpro, nicol_g, Vasa, chinchini, kLe, westcoastgirl1, TOMLEVMB oznaczył to zdjęcie jeko użyteczne

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Additional Photos by Dagmar Bouskova (Dashab) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 376 W: 23 N: 435] (2564)
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