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From time immemorial, white milk mushroom in Russia was valued much higher than other mushrooms - even genuine boletus, aka porcini mushroom, was inferior to him in popularity. A completely opposite situation has developed in Europe, where this species is still considered inedible and is never harvested. The reason for this is the strong bitterness of the fruit bodies, however, after thorough soaking, the taste of the pulp changes dramatically. After such processing, the harvested crop can be used for salting and cooking other dishes.
You can find out how the white milk mushroom and its numerous counterparts look like from the description with the photo below.
What does a white lump look like?
The real milk mushroom (lat. Lactarius resimus) or white is a conditionally edible mushroom of the russula family (lat.Russulaceae). In Russia, other names for this species are also common: in Western Siberia it is a wet milk mushroom, in the Urals and in the Volga region - raw, in Kazakhstan - pravsky. The word milk mushroom, in turn, reflects the peculiarity of the growth of the fruit bodies of this mushroom - it almost never occurs alone. Usually, whole groups of mushrooms are found, which in the old days were called "piles", "mushrooms".
The color of the fruit bodies is monochromatic without spots and streaks.
Description of the hat
At the first stage of development, the cap of a raw breast is flat-convex, however, then it opens and takes the form of a funnel, the edges of which are lowered inward, as can be seen in the photo below. The diameter of the cap in mature specimens can reach 18-20 cm. Its surface is smooth, slightly damp to the touch. The color is milky white, sometimes with an admixture of yellowish tints. Very often, fruiting bodies are covered with small particles of soil and litter.
The flesh of the ripe mushrooms is quite firm, but not too hard. It is completely white without any transitions. The fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are distinguished from similar varieties by a pleasant fruity aroma.
The plates of the hymenophore are often located, in their structure they are wide enough, descending to the pedicle. The color of the plates is pale yellow. The spore powder is also yellowish.
Important! The milky juice of a real milkweed in a matter of minutes turns from white to yellow.
Small debris often accumulates in the recess on the cap.
In the description of the raw weight, it is indicated that its leg is low and cylindrical, which can be seen in the photo below. In height, it can reach 7-8 cm, in width - 3-5 cm. The surface of the leg is smooth to the touch, the color is white, sometimes yellow. It also happens that it becomes covered with spots and stains of ocher color.
In older specimens, the leg often becomes hollow, and the hymenophore darkens.
White lump is edible or not
Abroad, the species is considered inedible due to its strong bitterness, however, in Russia it has always been among the most popular used for salting. Nevertheless, it cannot be eaten raw - the fruit bodies must be soaked for two to five days in order to remove the burning aftertaste. Thus, in Russia, white mushrooms are conditionally edible mushrooms.
Important! Eating large amounts of unprocessed pulp can lead to stomach upset.
How white milk mushrooms are prepared
The harvested crop can be used for all types of heat treatment: cooking, frying, baking, etc., but before that, the fruit bodies are soaked and salted. Only the salted pulp is suitable for preparing other dishes. Pickling of wet breasts is also very popular in Russia.
Important! Some mushroom pickers claim that in the process of boiling, the fruit bodies partially lose their taste and aroma.
Types of milk mushrooms and their differences from white
In order to surely distinguish a real raw milk mushroom from mushrooms similar to it, it is not enough just to study the photos of the twins - you must also familiarize yourself with their brief description. This is the only way not to be afraid to make a mistake in your choice. Although there are no poisonous false species, similar species may have completely different processing requirements. In the event of a mistake, improperly prepared pulp of fruit bodies may turn out to be too heavy food for the body.
Important! Very often, unscrupulous sellers try to pass off a white or dry lump as a real load. It can be eaten, but the value of the mushroom is much lower.
You can distinguish it by a dry cap - in a real weight it is sticky
A violin or a felt mushroom, also a squeak (lat.Lactarius vellereus) is a conditionally edible mushroom with a fleshy cap, which in young specimens is bent towards the ground. In adult fruiting bodies, its edges are wavy and spreading. The diameter can be up to 25 cm.
A distinctive feature of the double is white villi on the surface of the cap, which resemble fluff. The hymenophore of this variety is represented by rare plates. The pulp at the cut site quickly darkens, acquiring a greenish tint. Milky sap turns slightly pink on contact with air.
The distribution area of the species includes both deciduous and coniferous forests. Most often it can be found under aspen and birch trees.
Important! It is rather difficult to understand how to distinguish this type of white milk mushroom only from the photo. It is recommended to lightly rub the cap with your fingernail during collection.
Skripun is distinguished by the characteristic creak of the fruiting body
Peppermilk (lat.Lactarius piperatus) is another common species that is not poisonous. This is a conditionally edible mushroom with a velvety skin to the touch. His hat is white or slightly cream in color, in the center is darker.
The distribution area of the twin covers deciduous and mixed forests. It is extremely rare to find this false species in a coniferous forest.
In young fruit bodies, the edges of the cap are bent, as they grow, they straighten out
Aspen milk mushroom (lat.Lactarius controversus) is a mushroom belonging to the category of conditionally edible. It can be easily distinguished from similar varieties by its fleshy cap, which is covered with thick fluff. In young specimens, it is tucked up, in adults, it is straightened.
The leg of the twin is low and dense, narrowed at the base, mealy at the top. The main distinguishing feature is the pinkish tint of the hymenophore and the formation of mycorrhiza with poplar or willow.
Gives out a double a barely perceptible fluff on the hat
The white bollard (lat.Lactarius pubescens) is one of the smallest twins. The diameter of its cap is in most cases only 8 cm. A distinctive feature of the species is the abundant secretion of milky juice, which does not change its color upon contact with air.
The main difference from similar varieties is that the cap of the fruiting body is covered with thick fluff.
Volnushka prefers deciduous forests
The parchment milk mushroom (lat. Lactarius pergamenus) is a false double from the number of conditionally edible. It is distinguished by a wrinkled surface of the cap, which turns yellow in old specimens. The hymenophore plates in this false species are frequent, yellow-white in color. Unlike other related species, this twin has a rather long and slender leg, which can reach 12 cm in height.
The parchment milky grows in deciduous and mixed forests.
The color of this subspecies is cream, darker
Lactarius camphoratus is an edible mushroom. In young fruiting bodies, the cap is convex, however, as it grows, it becomes prostrate with a tubercle in the middle and slightly wavy edges. Its color in mature mushrooms ranges from dark red to light brown.
Another distinctive feature is the friable pulp with a specific smell of camphor.
This false species is much darker in color, and its leg is more elongated.
Are there poisonous counterparts of real milk mushrooms
Despite the fact that white milk mushrooms are very easy to confuse with many other mushrooms, there are no poisonous varieties among false counterparts. On the other hand, most of the false species are conditionally edible - those that in no case should be eaten without heat treatment or soaking.
In order to remove the burning taste of bitterness from the pulp of fruit bodies, white milk mushrooms must be kept in cold water for at least a day or two. At the same time, it is important to drain it every few hours, replacing it with a new one - otherwise the mushrooms may sour. Only then can the harvested crop be salted or pickled. All other dishes are recommended to be prepared using already salted mushrooms.
Important! Certain false species should be treated with special care. Pepper mushrooms, violin and camphor mushrooms must be thoroughly soaked before cooking, otherwise they can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Where white milk mushrooms grow
The growing area includes the northern regions of Europe. Especially rich harvests of mushrooms are harvested in Belarus and the Volga region. In southern latitudes, the likelihood of finding this species is extremely small.
Where raw milk mushrooms grow in Russia
On the territory of Russia, the mushroom is most often found in Western Siberia and the Urals; you can also collect a good harvest in the Moscow region. You should search, first of all, on calcareous-clay soils, but, in general, this species does not impose special requirements on the composition of the soil. Another criterion by which mushroom places are determined is that the milk mushroom prefers moderately dry areas of the forest. It is pointless to look in a damp and swampy area. You should focus on moderately lit forest edges with shrub undergrowth.
Advice! Very often the species grows near the bushes of strawberries and drupes. Large groups of mushrooms can be found near the bracken fern.
In which forest do white milk mushrooms grow
In young groves, where trees are only slightly larger than a person's height, white mushrooms are practically not found. The chances of harvesting a rich harvest in old deciduous and mixed forests are significantly increased. In coniferous plantings, the fungus can also be found, but this happens extremely rarely.
Most often it forms mycorrhiza with birch, therefore large groups grow in birch groves. Also, this species bears fruit well in the vicinity of lindens. In coniferous forests they are looking for him under the pines.
How the white lump grows
As a rule, real milk mushrooms are harvested soon after light rains. Prolonged showers, on the contrary, lead to rapid decay of the fruit bodies of this species - they disappear as quickly as they ripen.
Important! The optimum temperature for fruiting wet mushrooms is 8-10 ° C.
Single specimens are rare
How long does a white lump grow
It is difficult to say exactly when real milk mushrooms will appear after the rains, since not only this factor affects the growth of fruit bodies. The type of soil, the average daily temperature, the illumination of the area, etc. are also of great importance. But if small mushrooms have already appeared, then they, as a rule, fully ripen in about a week under favorable conditions.
When white milk mushrooms grow
The first fruits appear in northern latitudes - in Western Siberia and the Urals, where they can be harvested at the end of June. Fruiting ends in these regions usually by the last days of August - early September.
In central Russia, including the Moscow region, the mushroom picking season begins a little later, in July. Harvesting fruits in a temperate climate is possible until the end of September - early October. In the south of the country, they also bear fruit closer to autumn.
Important! In mid-latitudes, the real milk mushroom grows most abundantly in August.
When and how white milk mushrooms are harvested
Real milk mushrooms are quite difficult to detect, since fruiting bodies are often hidden under the thickness of foliage, grass and small twigs. That is why people usually go after the harvest with a long stick, which is convenient for stirring leaves in search of mushrooms.
On the other hand, they almost always grow in large groups - single mushrooms are very rare, which greatly facilitates the search. If at least one specimen is found, the basket can be filled very quickly. Immediately after finding the fungus, the surrounding area should be carefully searched for other fruiting bodies.
Especially carefully examine the soil in the event that the found specimen is quite young. Small fruits can even be almost completely hidden underground - their location can only be determined by small bumps that are covered with cracks.
The best time to pick mushrooms is early in the morning, while dew is still on the grass. Firstly, because of the damp shine, the caps are easier to notice in the grass. Secondly, the harvested crop retains freshness longer in such conditions.
Important! It is not recommended to collect old copies. Their pulp is difficult to process and even after soaking it is very bitter. They also contain a large amount of heavy metals, which the fungus absorbed during its growth.
White mushroom is highly valued in Russia, sometimes even more than white mushroom. Despite the fact that in foreign sources this species is classified as inedible, it is quite suitable for consumption, but only after soaking. The pulp of ripe fruit bodies without additional processing is very bitter.
For more information on how to harvest raw milk mushrooms, see the video below: