Pepper mushroom is an eternal subject of controversy among mushroom pickers and doctors. Some believe that the mushroom is poisonous and it is strictly forbidden to eat it. Opponents argue that it is completely safe and may well serve as a complement or even the basis for a delicious dinner. Let's try to consider all versions.
The pepper mushroom is a representative of the class of agaricomycetes and belongs to the Boletov family. The distribution zone is Europe and the Far East, which is extremely rare on other continents. Most often found in dry coniferous forests, especially under pine trees.
Can I eat pepper mushroom?
Pepper mushroom is conditionally edible, and most biologists allow its use for culinary purposes. But many domestic and Western experts argue that the mushroom pulp contains a rare toxic substance, all the properties of which are still not fully understood.
It has been experimentally established that the toxin does not completely collapse during prolonged heat treatment, but only changes. The human body is able to accumulate a modified form of the toxin.
The danger of using this product is that the symptoms of poisoning the body with its toxins do not appear immediately, but after a few weeks or months. The poison acts directly on the liver cells, causing pathological changes in them, provoking the development of cancer and cirrhosis. Initially, this manifests itself in the form of an aftertaste of bile in the mouth and discomfort in the right hypochondrium, later the active progression of the disease begins.
Since there is a long period of time between the fact of eating pepper mushroom and the symptoms of the disease, it is not possible to establish their relationship for certain. Today this version is more theoretical than practical. Everyone decides for himself, edible or not, this mushroom.
What it looks like:
- the diameter of the hat is small - within 2-8 cm. Young mushrooms have a convex-rounded shape of the hat, as it ages, it aligns. The top layer has no mucus, it is soft to the touch, and when exposed to sunlight it can give glare. The color of the hat is light brown, with different shades of red;
- leg - height up to 8 cm, quite thin (up to 1.5 cm in diameter). The leg thickness may be uneven and taper towards the base. The color matches the color of the mushroom cap or a tone lighter. The leg does not have ruffles and "skirts", smooth over the entire surface;
- the color of the pulp is yellow, with a reddish tint. Redness intensifies when cut;
- the cap structure is fragile, loose, breaks without effort;
- taste - spicy, burning;
- tubular layer - with large pores of different sizes. The porous layer fits snugly on the leg or grows slightly on it. Color - brown or brown with a red tint. If you squeeze the tubular layer with your fingers, a pronounced brown tint will appear.
The collection season extends from mid-summer to mid-autumn. This mushroom does not grow "families", a maximum of 2-3 individuals on one mycelium.
How to distinguish?
Even experienced mushroom pickers do not always know how to distinguish pepper mushroom from a goat. And it can be easily confused with mustard. Knowing the features of each species, you can avoid mistakes.
|Hat color||Light brown, possible shades of red||Light brown, possible shades of red||Light brown, possible shades of red|
|Leg color||Match hat color or slightly lighter||Yellow||Yellow orange|
|Tubular color||Brown, sometimes with shades of red||Milky or Dirty Pink||Gray-yellow - or brown with a green tint, without a redhead|
|Taste||Similar to hot pepper||Burning||Soft, spicy|
|Pulp color||Yellow, when broken, a pronounced red tint appears||White, when broken, a pink tint appears||Pink, less often cream, when cracked, it turns a little red|
Pepper Mushroom in folk medicine
Despite heated discussions around this representative of the mushroom kingdom, even our ancestors used its properties to combat some ailments.
It is believed that the cap and leg of the fungus contain a large dose of a natural antibiotic that can kill any viruses, including tuberculosis. It was with his help that healers fought with "pulmonary disease."
Today, most mushroom pickers use it as a seasoning. We prepared the powder and our ancestors and consumed it for obesity and digestive problems.
How to cook seasoning
The value of pepper mushroom seasoning lies in the fact that it gives the dish both a spicy "speck" and a wonderful mushroom aroma. Preparation of the powder does not take much time and energy.
To begin with, you need to wash the mushrooms well and remove excess water, chop hats and legs - you can just break it with your hands. Boil for 1.5-2 hours. If desired, you can change the water 2-3 times, drain the water from the prepared mushrooms and place them in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Dry for 3-4 hours periodically turning over. A fully dried mushroom should easily crumble into small pieces. Grind further using a coffee maker or blender, and dry again in the oven. Pour the finished spice into a dry glass container with a sealed lid.
Seasoning can be used in the preparation of soups, side dishes, meat, fish and salads. Additional heat treatment is optional.
It is recommended to store the powder away from sunlight and heat.
Fans of exotic dishes use pepper mushroom not only as seasoning, but also as the basis of the dish. Mushroom assortment is very popular. For its preparation, the “peppers” are boiled and fried along with other types of mushrooms, onions and sour cream. The finished dish has a pronounced pungent taste and bright aroma.
Culinary experiments are always good. But do not let the craving for a new and unusual drown out the voice of reason, because this can turn into very unpleasant consequences for health.