Penny Bun and Bay Boletes Boletus spp.
Penny Bun Boletus edulis is a very popular mushroom. It has many common names, Cep in France, Porcini in Italy and Stein Pilz in Germany to name but three. It has a hemispherical brown cap with a white lip. The white stem is spindle shaped with a brown reticulum or net like pattern. The pores are white becoming greenish yellow as the spores mature. Penny Buns are found in woodlands, commonly with oak, birch, beech and pine.
Penny buns do not bruise blue in any part of the mushroom. When young they have a firm nutty texture but become soft and woolly with age.
There are a number of closely related species which are sometimes also called ceps or porcini. The Summer Bolete Boletus aureus is found with oak and beech and the Pine Bolete Boletus pinicola is found with conifers. Both have darker brown caps and stems than Boletus edulis and lack the white lip at the cap edge. All can be found from summer to late autumn.
The Bay Bolete Boletus badius is often mistaken for Penny Bun. It has a hemispherical chestnut brown cap. The stem is a similar colour. The pores are pale yellow and bruise blue-green. The flesh also turns blue on cutting, especially above the tubes.
Bay boletes have a softer more buttery texture than Penny Buns.
The only non-edible look alike for the Penny Bun is the Bitter Bolete Tylopilus felleus. It is a similar colour to the Penny Bun but the pores are tinged with pink and do not become yellow with age. It is instantly recognisable by it’s very bitter taste.