It’s fall and in Russia its time to hunt mushrooms. Russian villagers call mushrooms “free pork” – implying that mushrooms have as much protein as meat and also tastes good if prepared correctly. The king of the Russian mushroom hunt is Beliy Grib or “White Mushroom” known as Porcini, or sometimes bolete, to the Western World. Here it is, in the pic above.
Thanks to Alexei, a Russian blogger, we can now see a mushroom hunt first-hand.
Usually porcinis grow in pine forests. So another Russian name for them is “borovik” where “bor” is a pine forest. Here is one – can you spot it?
Alexei pulled it completely out of the ground, which is considered to be bad practice – this way you destroy the mycelium – the underground network of mushroom roots which can generate more fruit – or with time actual mushrooms, if not damaged.
Here are a couple more. The right way to get them is to use a sharp knife and..
Cut them at ground level, leaving a slice.
Alexei again got it wrong.
Alexei went on a mushroom hunt early in the morning and was lucky to find a lot of them hiding in the clean and tidy pine forest.
Sometimes, just in one spot he could get a group of five.
To find the porcinis one has to train his eyes.
You shouldn’t look straight down – it’s better to look five or ten meters ahead. This way the human eye has a better ability to spot the deli shrooms.
And this is a basket – the usual accessory for a mushroom hunt.
Sometimes it gets full.
Sometimes they grow in pairs.
Aren’t they nice?
Tell me frankly, as people of different cultures which probably never had a habit of hunting porcinis – do they look nice and edible to you?
This is how much he got in three and a half hours of hunting.
Your eyes really need to be trained – can you spot a whole family of porcini mushrooms in this pic above?
This is Alexei second basket. It’s 1:00pm already and he has spent over six hours on the hunt and he is tired and hungry.
So he decides to move out but meets a few more on his way back that he probably overlooked in the beginning.
This is how many mushrooms he got in total!
So how do you find it? Interesting? Good looking? Mouthwatering? Or totally yuck?
Here is his website: