One of the stars of the mushroom world. Easily recognisable among the edible species. Generally seen eight days after rain around late summer to the start of autumn.
|Common Names||Penny Bun (EN), Cep (FR), Porcini (IT), King Bolete (US), Wicsen Gron (CY), Borowik Szlachetny (PL), Ízletes Vargánya (HU)|
|Scientific Name||Boletus edulis|
|Average Mushroom height (CM)||25|
|Average Cap width (CM)||20|
White when very young, maturing to look like a crusty brown roll, hence the name penny bun. The edge of the cap is often white. Slug marks expose white flesh.
Thick, bulbous and white ageing to slightly tan yellow. The stem has a fine net like covering just under the cap and sometimes extending all the way down the stem, solid when young, fresh or free from maggots.
No poisonous mushrooms look similar, all the poisonous Boletus such as the Satans Boletus are either very red in the flesh or sponge, or stain blue immediately on cutting.
You could potentially confuse this mushroom with the Bitter Bolete, Tylopilus felleus which although not poisonous will ruin any meal you are unfortunate enough to add this mushroom to. A little nibble of the mushroom when raw will soon identify it with the Penny Bun being delicious and the Bitter Bolete being as bitter as sin! A better way to distinguish the two is that the Penny Bun has a lighter net like mesh on a slightly darker stem, the Bitter Bolete has a darker mesh on a lighter stem, pictured.
The Summer Bolete, Boletus reticulatus, looks very similar but has a slightly darker stem, not as solid flesh, lacks the white cap edge and grows in early Summer.
Taste / Smell
Excellent raw or fried in butter when fresh. Very mushroomy, one of the best species to dry where the mushroom flavour is enhanced.
Fairly common if you know where to look.
Penny buns produce more glutamates when dried so enhancing the flavour.
Tests on dried Penny Buns found that there were many different Boletes in a packet as they are hard to visually identify when dried.
Please note that there are several closely related species in the US, including the White King Bolete (Boletus barrowsii), Spring King Bolete (Boletus rex-veris), and a local variety of our Boletus edulis in Western North America, called Boletus edulis var. grandedulis.
Penny Bun: Can the stalk/stem be eaten too?
Definitely. It’s the best bit
Any chances of doing some courses further east, nearer Lincolnshire. Im sure there would be lots of interest if you did. Went on a Lincolnshire Wildlife forege today. Over 20 people attended, young and old. We have attended one of your courses at Bubenhall Wood. It was great and very informative. Some courses a bit closer to us would be very nice.
Hi Debbie, glad you enjoyed your course with us in Bubbenhall Wood. We would like to run courses in the Nottingham area or east of Nottingham area which would be closer to you, however we are yet to find a suitable venue (good foraging, car parking, able to get permission). If you have any suggestions that would be great.
Sherwood forest, Sherwood Pines and Bestwood Country park (Lodge)
Can you still eat them when the pores yellow?
Up to a point, I hate to miss out on Penny Buns and will scrape off any yellow pores and check if the rest of the mushroom has a bad smell or it is full of maggots, if not it’s going in the pot.
I found one today and sliced it ready for drying, the stem however had a bit of brown that looked like it was rotting from the inside (nothing on the outside at all, I just cut it away. Is there anything to be concerned about?
No, just cut away any suspect looking bits as you did.
I’d like to ask you about how the cep season works. Last weekend I found a large amount of ceps, and the one before I found a similar amount of summer ceps (boletus reticulatus). However, this weekend, although I have visited about 5 forests in SW England and Wales, I have only found old/rotting ones and the odd one or two young ones, in locations where I know that they appear. Is the season now over then? Can we expect more ceps following the next bout of rain? In the same areas? Thanks!
We’ll hopefully see some more with rain but that might be the season over and done with. There is no rain forcast.
Even if it rains say at the beginning of october? It looks like thats gonna be the case!
Most years I find a good amount of chants and hedgehogs but this is my first year picking some good amounts of porcini… I don’t want it to be over 🙁
I fear you are right, but for three weeks it was the best Penny Bun picking I’ve done.
My son brought 2 carrier bags of ceps back from a forest in Northumberland yesterday. Some where huge. It’s very warm out – proper mushroom weather.
Have found none in our local woodland in Kent this season after masses last year, even after the recent rain there are none to be seen
I’m sure they came later last year .. Perhaps overly dry earlier on has stalled them ?
Same for me in Kent, loads this time last year up until end of October but nothing this year. Not sure if I’ve missed them or if they’re still to come.
Im in Surrey and Ceps are only just starting to poke their heads out, last year it was a few weeks before…fingers crossed!
I’ve been looking for the last three weeks in Oxfordshire and found one single Cep!
I find them in my front garden ,under a beech regularly. I think they are bollets.
Hello, is there any other bolete that looks similar and grows to the same size? I found some huge boletes, stem thicker than my wrist and cap pretty much like a baseball cap, only the colour was more like tan rather than the darker colour in the pictures here. I’m in Scotland, could the lighter colour be a regional variation? Thank you!
The Bay Bolete can grow to a large size, so can the Summer Cep but it is the wrong time of year although I’m finding Summer mushrooms now it has finally rained.
Does anyone know good places for foraging near London?
The yellowing colour of the pores itself is not a warning sign, so IF everything else are o.k., the penny bun/cep/porcini is still edible.
I live in a village called Romiley near Stockport Cheshire ,I have a wooded area hear where I live ,this morning I’ve picked quite a few .😁 I’m very happy.