Boletus are a type of mushrooms from the phylum of Basidiomycota from the Bolaetaceae family, whose generic name is derived from the Latin “Boletus” which comes from the Greek “bolitos” meaning “earth mushrooms” with a variety of more than 100 species. It is also (best) known as “king boletus” and “porcini”. This type is characterized by tubes fixed vertically under the hat, such as a general foot with bulbous base.
The most well-known type is Boletus Edulis. The Boletaceae family is spread over almost all continents (except Antarctica).
Boletus have a smooth and glossy hat of different colors from white-gray and yellowish to dark brown with a diameter of up to 30 cm. At first, the hat is semi-spherical, and later it takes the shape of a pillow.
The mushroom has tubes fixed vertically under the hat, not blades, such as Agaricus bisporus and Agaricus edulis, or pores. From these tubes the spores fall after the ripening process. Their color differs, in most cases they are white, yellow or red.
Boletus has a sturdy and fleshy foot, up to 10 cm wide, short and obese at first, and then stretched out, robust, generally bulbous base up to 12 cm wide, sometimes splice-shaped, such as Boletus aestivalis or Boletus citrinus. The colors are very different: white, yellow, brown, red-brown, often with maroon to bright red lines, from purple to black, stretching across the surface, but also with differentiated or droplet colored peaks.
Most Boletus are edible and very tasty, but, unfortunately, the species is attacked by numerous larvae, especially in the growth period.
The only poisonous Boletus mushrooms, but not deadly, in the Boletaceae family, are Boletus Satanas and related species, like Boletus Purpureus, Boletus Rhodoxanthus, Boletus Satanoides and a few others. Furthermore, there are a small number of suspect mushrooms (Boletus Luridus, Boletus Splendidus) or nonedible, either because they doesn’t taste good, either because are very bitter, like Boletus Calopus, Tylopilus Felleus or Boletus Radicans.
The best way of conserving Boletus is by drying. Only then they develop their extraordinary taste and aroma. Boletus can also be frozen or conserved in cans. In the last case they are softer and less tasty.
Boletus genus is large and have a complex taxonomic history. Index Fungorum enumerates over 300 scientific denominations applied to this genus, even though the names number currently valid is lower. In addition to synonyms, many species have been moved to other fungus genres such as Gyroporus, Leccinus, Suillus, Typopilus, or Xerocomus. Molecular phylogenetic analyzes provide new information on the relationships between Boletus populations. For someone who is not familiar, it is very difficult to find a clear classification because, unfortunately, synonyms and their name differ from country to country and also the researchers.