Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
The king Bolete Mushroom is one of the most sought after mushrooms worldwide, no mushroom is more satisfying. The king can have a yellow, red to brown cap atop a thick white or brown stalk, and grows individually or in small clumps on the ground in coniferous forests. They can be found in all parts of the Pacific Northwest. They are very delicious.
They are not just a hearty meal though, king bolete mushrooms are immuno stimulating and contain lots of vitamin B, thereby can help to maintain a balanced nervous system.
It grows in conifer forests where it just as all other mushrooms, have an association with the roots of the trees, aiding them in absorbing nutrients while receiving sugars from the tree’ in return. There is much more going on here that we are just beginning to understand.
You will have a hard time finding them in the Pacific Northwest without maggots in them, unless the mushroom is real young and small, their the best tasting ones anyways. The BC Coastal Region has lots of them, you can find them growing from sea level right up to 1000 meters. The little mushrooms can be difficult to find because they barely poke their caps above the soil surface. This elusiveness is further enhanced by the fact that sometimes they do not even push above the needles that have accumulated on the floor of the forest. Experienced shoomers look for small humps in the litter that indicate these choice mushrooms are hiding underneath. But the mere presence of these mushrumps does not mean King Boletus is underneath. There are many kinds of mushrooms that do this. Including the pine mushroom, also known as the Matsutake mushroom, another very choice mushroom.
As with any mushroom, you must be absolutely sure what you’re harvesting, never eat a mushroom unless you can identify it with no mistakes, because making a mistake when harvesting mushrooms could kill you. The King Bolete Mushroom (Boletus edulis) is fairly easy to identify, once you get the hang of it, although it has many variations in color and size and shape. The stem of these mushrooms will have a pattern on them that looks like the skin patterns on giraffe.