Friday, October 11, 2013

les cèpes

These mushrooms are what I had known in the States as porcini.  This is actually the Italian name but I think many American cooks call them that (boletus edulis is the scientific name).  Anyway, my wife and I feel like we have died and gone to heaven as we have one neighbor who brings us copious amounts of fresh vegetables from their garden and another neighbor who harvests wild cèpes from the forest of Amboise and shares them with us.  I spent part of the afternoon cleaning them up, chopping them up, and cooking them up (this bowl is just a fraction of the total gift).  And now after eating the yummiest omelet ever, I can relax and tell their story.


  1. Hi, I don't think there are actually any cèpes in your photo. You neighbour is using "cèpes" rather loosely to mean "bolets". Cèpes all have thick slightly conical stems and compact pores. These are different types of boletus edulis though and, I agree, delicious. I'm not sure what "porcini" means in English. I suspect it only covers cèpes though I may be wrong. We once found a boletus the size of a large plate and cooked it in the oven. It had an almost meaty taste. This weekend there should be lots of mushrooms - alternating rain and sun has them shooting up.

    1. Well I confess I don't have any great knowledge on this topic but I did at least go read about them on Wikipedia. The photos and descriptions there seemed to match these mushrooms. The brownish ones seemed to resemble the photo at the top, and the reddish ones seemed to resemble those (b. grandedulis) further down in the article. And they do have pores rather than gills.

      The biggest one (not in the photo here) was probably about 7 inches across. I chopped all of them up in maybe 3/4 inches cubes and sautéed 'em in butter. Anyway whatever they're called, they're delicious.

  2. It's the thick stems that are the most indicative of whether or not they are cèpes. All boletus are edible though some may be diuretic. You can only really identify them using several criteria. We went mushroom picking yesterday but someone had been there before us. We did find a plateful of boletus, and one coulemelle. Have you tried those? You can freeze them once they're cooked, by the way. We keep a stock of small bags of mushrooms in our freezer for winter (and summer) omelettes and veal stews. I'm looking forward to the horns of plenty (trompettes de la mort). I hope your neighbour will be able to give you some of those. They are really delicious.

  3. Oh, and is an excellent source of information.