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Mushroom steppe boletus: photos and description

Chanterelles: photos and description

The largest representative of the chanterelle family growing in Russia is the steppe species. It is characterized by special external features. The steppe chanterelle does not live long and the harvest time can be from April to June. The lifespan of the mushroom is only 5-7 days.

Where do steppe morels live?

Steppe morels require dry, arid steppes for their full growth and development. The mushrooms grow on prairie-type clayey soils. They can grow in circles, in numbers of 10 to 15 around a small area.

Steppe morels are found throughout the European part of the country and also grow in Central Asia. These mushrooms are most commonly seen in the following regions:

  • Crimea;
  • Kalmykia;
  • Rostov region;
  • Saratov region;
  • Volgograd region.

Important! Dry springs without rain often result in the fruiting bodies of steppe morels not growing, so they are not collected every year.

What do steppe mushrooms look like?

All types of mushrooms consist of a cap, a stalk and a fruiting body. When describing the external characteristics, the shades of the spore powder are also taken into account. The spore powder is obtained from the spores of the fruiting body to determine the genus and suitability of the fungus as food.

Description of the steppe mushroom:

  1. hat. Has a light brown hue and forms as a ball or ovoid oval. Their diameter is 2 to 10 cm, particularly large mushrooms grow up to 15 cm. The hat is not filled inside and divided into sections.
  2. stem. White, short, no longer than 2 cm.
  3. The fruit body reaches a maximum size of 25 cm, whereby the weight can increase up to 2.5 kg. The flesh of the mushroom is particularly elastic. The spore powder is cream to gray in hue.
Chanterelles: photos, appearance, places of growth, collection time, poisoning

Can you eat steppe morels?

Steppe morels are collected for drying or pickling. They belong to the group of edible mushrooms that perfectly combine the taste and aromatic properties of morels and dried porcini mushrooms. For this reason, the mushroom is also known as “Steppe White” and is often referred to as the “king of spring mushrooms”.

Taste characteristics of the steppe morels

Steppe morels are recommended as a basis for mushroom soup because of their distinctive mushroom taste. The powder made from the mushroom is suitable for adding to appetizers and main courses and is used as a base for sauces.

When roasting, morels give off a special scent, so they are good for preparing meat skewers.

Dried steppe morels, which are used to prepare appetizers and main dishes, are soaked for 8-10 hours. After that, they fully return to their original shape. This property is especially in demand in the culinary arts, therefore, morel mushrooms are used to prepare authoritative dishes with a restaurant presentation.

Benefit and harm to the body

Mushrooms are a special product of plant origin. The benefits and harms of chestnuts can be judged after a thorough study of the properties and effects of the components of the fruiting body. At this time, the properties have not been sufficiently researched.

It is known that these mushrooms contain polysaccharides that have a positive effect on the lens of the eye. This explains information about their use to treat eye diseases.

Classification by nutritional value places this variety in the third group. This means a low content of useful substances and trace elements. The table includes only 4 groups.

The product is known to contain such toxic substances as gyromitrine and methylhydrazine. However, they disappear completely when drying and remain in the water when boiling. The consumption of the product is entirely dependent on human health. Due to possible negative reactions of the body, these varieties are not suitable for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under 12 years old.

False doubles of the hair hat

One of the dangers of mushroom picking is the wrong determination of affiliation. Although the hair cap has distinctive features, it is often confused with false striped mushrooms.

The striped mushrooms are externally similar, can appear on open forest areas located near steppe regions at the same time.

Striped mushroom on the photo:

  • The pores in poisonous striped mushrooms are arranged chaotically, have no uniform shape, while in edible hairy caps they are arranged symmetrically.
  • Inside the cap of edible species there is a hollow space, while in striped mushrooms it is covered with sticky secretion.
  • Hair caps have a distinct mushroom aroma, while striped mushrooms have no odor.

False representatives can easily be identified under these characteristics. In addition, before collecting it, it is recommended to watch a video of experienced mushroom pickers, where you can have a good look at the steppe mushroom.

collection rules

The collection season extends over a long period of time. The fruiting bodies can ripen from April to June, although their lifespan is short. The fruit body can grow within a few days and the ripening times are shorter in warm springs. Mushroom pickers strip off the distribution areas from the end of March.

When collecting, it is recommended to pay attention to the peculiarities of the structure and follow the basic rules:

  • Using a small sharp knife, cut off the stalk just at the base;
  • Spread the collected specimens on a prepared cloth in a basket so that the hats are not squeezed;
  • Before drying, blow out the hats, because a large amount of sand, dust and grass particles will accumulate in them.

Use of steppe mushrooms

Before cooking, be sure to rinse the mushrooms with warm water to remove dirt particles. They are processed in one of the following ways: cooked and added to dishes, or dried and removed for storage.

To boil, take a large amount of water, boil over high heat for 20-25 minutes.

Attention! The water after boiling is no longer suitable for further use.

Despite the name “steppe chanterelle”, it is strictly forbidden to use broths for soups, as is the case with white mushrooms. Due to the toxin content, a broth can cause food poisoning.

Electric dryers or ovens are used for drying. The drying time depends on the size of the fruit body and the total amount of mushrooms. Dried chanterelles should be eaten only 3 months after drying: they must be kept in a dark, dry place before use.

This species is not suitable for pickling or canning, but can be used as an independent dish. The product is often used as a filling for pies or made into a mushroom mass.

Dried specimens should be stored so that they do not come into contact with moisture, otherwise the fungus cap will mold from the inside, the product will lose its taste and become unusable.

Important! In France, porcini mushrooms are grown on specially created farms for further sale.


Meadow porcini is an edible mushroom that can be used to prepare delicious, unusual dishes. The danger in collecting this species is the outward resemblance to false doubles. Experienced mushroom pickers recommend taking a photo of the meadow boletus and comparing it with the external appearance and characteristic features.

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