The first of this year’s pick of wild mushrooms have now dried and are about to be put in store. Dried mushrooms, kept in a sealed container, will happily keep for up to a year, so will be used over the coming winter and beyond.
Here are a couple pictures of some of our dried Porcini (borowiki) and Bay Bolete (podgrzybek) mushrooms. All have been picked over the last week or two by our family in the forests of the province of Lubuskie in the far west of Poland.
Dried mushrooms are re-hydrated by soaking in boiling water for about 30 minutes and used in Polish dishes such as Bigos (Hunter’s Stew) and Polish Wild Mushroom Soup.
We’ve just returned from a successful two hour expedition into the forests around our house with two kilograms of splendid Borowik (Porcini) and Podgrzybek (Bay Bolete / Xerocomus) mushrooms. Here’s an example of just one of these beautiful and tasty Polish forest mushrooms. Most of the mushrooms we found today will be sliced and dried for use throughout the year.
A fine example of a podgrzybek forest mushroom growing in the forests near Zdroisko in Lubuskie, western Poland.
Podgrzybek (English: Bay Bolete, Latin: Boletus Badius / Xerocomus) are a type of wild forest mushroom closely related to Borowik (Boletus Edulis). They are found in forests throughout Poland. Podgrzybek mushrooms have a unique taste and flavour, which is not dissimilar to Borowik and as such are much prized by Poles. They can be eaten fresh but most are dried for use throughout the year. Traditionally this is done by threading twenty or so mushrooms caps on a piece of string suspended in a warm place. Over the course of several weeks the stringed mushrooms will dry out and as a result be available to eat all year around in dishes like Bigos and Polish Wild Mushroom Soup. Podgrzybek can also be pickled, but this is something that is more often done commercially rather than at home.
Strings of wild Podgrzybek mushrooms being dried above a wood burning stove.
One of our favourite ways to use Podgrzybek mushrooms is to make a tasty and traditional Polish Wild Mushroom Sauce. Follow the link to make your own using Podgrzybek or Borowik mushrooms.