Cèpe is the French name and porcini is the Italian name for this mushroom. The boletus is very fleshy and the underside of the whole cap is made up of tightly-packed tubes. The boletus is highly prized for its refined flavour; it was first discovered and eaten by an English King in Aquitaine. Then in the late 19th century Alcide Bonton (a great chef of the Café Anglais, the posh-est hang-out in Paris since the time of Napoleon III) reinvented the boletus and made the wild mushroom come back into vogue.
Boletus should be firm and unmarked, with the head securely attatched to the stem. The stems should be firm and the ‘gill’ part of the underside of the cap may be yellow or green but should not be brown. Do not choose these mushrooms on their size as the large ones can be just as good as the small ones. Boletus should not be washed as they tend to become slimmy and soak up the water, scrape them with a knife blade or brush them instead. Boletus prefer to be cooked on a low heat, this enables the mushroom to sweat so that their cooking water can evaporate. Best used stuffed, sautéd or grilled.
This highly sought after mushroom is limited in supply and available in April, October & November. Minimum order is 1kg