Bitter To The Last Bite - The Bolete Tylopilus Mushroom

Dear Henry,

This is one of the Tylopilus versions of the Bolete mushroom.  They are gorgeous, with deep purple caps and, like most boletes, are non-toxic (there is a bolete with red spores which is said to be dangerous.  They don't appear to be wide-spread and I haven't seen one).

There is, however, a huge variation in the edibility of "non-toxic".

Any bolete with a purple cap tastes awful and by awful, I mean so bitter that your tongue tingles.

You could not eat this mushroom, not even if you are starving.

Ask me how I know.

You see, once, Fish and I, armed with the knowledge that "all boletes are non-toxic", picked, sauteed, and attempted to eat one. It smelled heavenly while it was cooking.  It tasted horrific. The taste was so bad that we were afraid we had misidentified the mushroom.

We didn't, they are just that inedible.

I hear (unverified and unresearched) that they are a component of bitters.  I did, however, make a joke about eating one on social media and I should not have.  Anyone who tries to eat one will not enjoy the taste, I speak from experience here.

They do make lovely photographs though.

xoxo a.d.


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