Red and Yellow Bolete
Has also been called: Boletochaete bicolor
Compared to some of the ugly duckling fungi of our forests, this bolete stands out as a real hottie. With a neat mushroom form, bright rosy-red cap and stem, and dazzling yellow pores that turn blue when bruised, it looks as good as it tastes. Some say it’s on a par with the famous King Bolete (Boletus edulis). But I can almost hear the hoots and hollers from King lovers who believe that a superficial sweetie like the Two-colored, or any other bolete species for that matter, can’t compare in flavor. Nevertheless, we happily continue our culinary love affair with the Two-colored, which is good enough for people who have not tasted the King, and plentiful in most years. Be aware that it causes stomach/intestinal discomforts for some. My family and I have no problems, but some of my friends cannot eat it. Test your self before indulging.
The speed at which this mushroom’s freshly exposed yellow flesh - not the pores - turns blue will help you to separate it from certain copycats. For the Two-colored Bolete, this color change happens slowly, over a period of several minutes, and generally becomes only a light blue color. Sometimes, though, its exposed yellow flesh will show no color change. For certain copycats, the exposed flesh develops a strong blue color immediately. Some of these fast-bluing copycats can cause severe stomach/intestinal discomforts, so be careful.
This mushroom can appear earlier in the season than many other Boletes, often in early June. It has a longer growing season than most boletes, sometimes appearing in late October. In some years you can fill your basket several times a season.
• DARK ROSE-RED CAP.
• EXPOSED YELLOW FLESH SLOWLY BRUISES BLUE.
• VERY THIN BRIGHT YELLOW PORE LAYER. BRUISES BLUE QUICKLY.
• STEM RED, GENERALLY YELLOW AT THE TOP.
• GROWS ON THE GROUND UNDER OAKS.
CAP: 2” to 4” wide. Deep, rich, rose-red sometimes becoming yellowish around the edge with age. Flesh yellowish, slowly becoming light blue when exposed. Mild, pleasant taste. A drop of ammonia on the cap shows no color change.
PORES: Bright yellow, quickly bruising blue.
SPORE PRINT: dull olive brown.
STEM: 2”- 4” long, 3/8”-1 ¼” thick. Smooth. Solid. Often tinted rosy red or pinkish below; yellow at top. Sometimes slowly bruising pale blue.
GROWTH: On the ground around oak trees. June to October.
EDIBILITY: Very good, but individual sensitivity and mistaken identification cause stomach/intestinal upset for about one person in about 12 who eats it, from my experience. Test yourself with a small amount. Be careful of copycats.
COOKING HINT: Cook it like a King Bolete. You will find many King recipes in mushroom cookbooks and guidebooks. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t taste like the King.
LOOKALIKES: Boletus sensibilis has a brick red cap, and smells of curry. Its exposed flesh bruises bright blue instantly. The cap of B. miniato-olivaceus becomes yellowish with age. Do not eat either of these; they have caused numerous poisonings. Edible B. pseudosensibilis pores do not bruise blue when young, and the stem is yellow with a red base. Edible B. bicoloroides has a completely red stem. In this region you will find a number of other red and yellow colored, blue-bruising boletes that can be difficult to identify.
NOTE: Remember, it’s the speed of color change of the freshly exposed Two-colored Bolete’s flesh that’s important for identification, not the color change of the bruised pores. This bolete’s pores bruise blue instantly; the flesh bruises blue slowly.