Stone Mushroom

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(Scientific Name: Boletus edulis) A rich meaty flavored mushroom that has a large, round cap that is pale yellowish brown to dark reddish brown in color and grows 2 to 8 inches in width. They grow on the ground under conifers and hardwood trees in the North American woods. The cap and stem have a firm, thick, white flesh with a distinctive and assertive flavor and is excellent used in soups, sauces, stuffing, fish and other dishes. They are available fresh, frozen and dried and can be broiled, sautéed, stewed or baked. Also known as cepes and porcini mushrooms.

When dried, the stone mushroom is available throughout the year but when fresh, they are only available June to November. When selecting, choose those that are fresh looking and have firm caps and stems, avoiding mushrooms with shriveled caps and dried stems. To store, wrap unwashed mushrooms lightly in paper towels or place in a paper bag, never store in plastic. Keep them in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. It is best to eat them as soon as possible. Dried mushrooms may be stored indefinitely.

When cleaning, avoid using water because it will reduce the flavor of the mushroom. Use a brush to clean sand, grit and other debris from the pits and ridges. If you must use water, use as little as possible and dry quickly with a paper towel. Cut lengthwise and check interior for insects and other debris.

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