Leccinum scabrum

Leccinum scabrum

The gray Porcinello or Betullino (Leccinum scabrum Gray, 1821) is a basidiomycete mushroom belonging to the Boletaceae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Fungi, Basidiomycota Division, Class Basidiomycetes, Order Boletales, Family Boletaceae and then to the genus Leccinum and to the Specie L. scabrum.

Etymology –
The term Leccinum comes from (i) líceus, derived from ílex, -icis leccio: from the holm oak, related to the holm oak. The specific epithet scabrum derives from scábo scratch, scrape: rough, rough, sour.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Leccinum scabrum is a fungus that grows in broad-leaved woods and especially under birches. The fruiting period ranges from summer to autumn.

Recognition –
It is recognized for the hat measuring up to 12 cm in width, with an off-white to light gray color with yellowish shades; it is velvety or smooth and becomes viscous with humid weather. The tubules are whitish in color, then greenish, thin, easily removable, much longer than the meat of the hat. The pores are small, circular, with whitish to gray coloring. The stem is very long and measures approximately 15 x 2 cm on average; it has a firm, cylindrical consistency, slightly thinned near the hat, with a dirty white or gray color and covered with many small dark gray scales. The stem is easy to remove from the hat. The meat is white in color and is tender in the hat but tough in the stem; it has a pleasant, light and aromatic smell and a grateful and sweet taste.
Under the microscope there are spores of yellow color in mass with cinnamon, fusiform, smooth, guttular shades, of 13-21 x 4-6 μm.

Cultivation –
The Porcinello gray is not a cultivated mushroom.

Uses and Traditions –
The Leccinum scabrum is an edible mushroom and is the most sought after and appreciated of the genus Leccinum because, in addition to the consistency of its meat, this does not blacken to the cooking, like all the other Leccinum. It is a fungus that predominantly grows under Betulla, with the typical squamous decoration spiked on the stem, flesh, as mentioned, immutable white or slightly vaguely pink when cut, only after a long brownish, fungal smell and pleasant taste.
The Leccinum scabrum is called in various ways also according to the places: Betullino, Leccino, Beola, Donna Nera (in the Biella area), Porcinello Grigio, Cravin, Gambetta, Sürlo.

Preparation Mode –
For the preparation of this leccino it is necessary to remove the stem because it is coriaceous and has a bad, sour taste. It is advisable to consume young specimens because with age the meat becomes a bit ‘soft and slightly unpleasant taste. To this inconvenience, however, it can be avoided by blending the mushroom after having it trifolati and making it all a cream, to put on the dishes at will.
It can be prepared in various ways, trifolied and also preserved dried or frozen or in oil.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.



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