Butter's Porcini Hunting Lexicon
Fun guys: A play on the word fungi which makes for tons of trailside hilarity. This joke never gets old to me. Never! "There's nothing I like better than hanging out with fun guys"..."Snap a picture of me kissing these fun guys."
Gilly monster: Wild Food Girl's term for a gilled mushroom. During porcini season, if you feel up a mushroom (reaching under its cap) and discover gills, it is a diappointment because porcini have pores.
Haul: The proper way to describe harvesting a large number of porcini. "I'm hoping to haul." "That's quite a haul."
Hello!: What you exclaim when you are scanning the ground and a porcini suddenly pops out at you. This expression is also appropriate when you raise your gaze off the forest floor and realize you are ten feet away from an equally startled deer.
Honker: A.k.a. dinner plate. A very large, mature porcini. It is unbelievable how huge they can grow to be, frequently reaching a diameter of 8" at maturity. Some claim to have seen them as big as 12" across!
"If I were a porcini": What to say when you see the perfect environment for the fun guys to grow. This phrase generally acts as a charm and causes porcini to suddenly appear.
I'm a neat'a: Yes. Yes, you are. Amanita muscaria.
Leccinumville: An aspen grove or mixed conifer and aspen forest, where you are more likely to find Leccinum insigne than Boletus edulis in the Rockies.
Mush-hole: Someone who mushrooms like a douchecanoe - kicking, stomping, cutting, and overturning every mushroom they come across in the woods. And while we're talking about poor form in the woods, could we please just address the absolutely stinking unbelievable amount of toilet paper, condoms, pads, dog poop-filled bags and other grossness I've come across while mushrooming this year??? This is insanity. If your fingers are too precious to stuff your pee-soaked TP into a bag and carry it back down the mountain, maybe you should just stick to Starbucks and strip malls, OK? Spread the word to any buttface you know who is doing this - pack it in, pack it out, and leave no trace. Or, as Rebecca Altman likes to say, "never make a place less beautiful."
Mushroom eyes: If you are used to hiking, it takes a while to re-focus your attention away from a destination, and start keying-in on porcini, an act known as finding/getting your mushroom eyes. Do not be embarrassed to substitute the words "mushroom eyes" for "hungry eyes" in the famous Dirty Dancing song. This is accepted practice.
Mushroom of failure: I learned this one from GreenGabbro. A mushroom of failure is one that you pick because you've not found any porcini, but want to return home with some sort of edible mushroom. For me, puffballs, Lactarius deliciosus, and Sarcodon imbricatus are all mushrooms of failure - interesting enough on their own, but second class citizen during porcini season.
Mushroom snob: Someone who only has eyes for porcini, and scoffs at other edible mushrooms. That would be me (so says Wild Food Girl). Alternately defined by David Arora as a Botelivore.
Myc-nerd: One who geeks out over mushrooms. Not to be confused with anyone named Mike.
Party: Many porcini growing in one small area. Nothing beats a good party, especially if it's more like a block party than an intimate dinner party.
Potato: A young porcini has a texture that is nearly crisp when you slice into it, much like a potato. Pushing my knife through a mushroom like that always makes my heart beat faster. "Feel how solid this porcici is. It's a real potato."
Primo: The very finest porcini, large enough for the cap to have just opened, but still young enough to have creamy pores. Primos are perfectly kissed wine-red (here in the Rockies), are worm free, and demand that you take a moment to just admire their greatness. A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Serial killer: A porcini hunter who returns repeatedly to the scene of a good haul in hope of experiencing the same high. This term was coined by my friend Jen and her Mr. to describe, uh, me.
Snowman: A.k.a. ghost. A porcini that has been overtaken by Hypomyces chrysospermum, the bolete-eater fungus. Snowmen are soft, covered in a white film, and deformed, usually with a proportionately small cap. Not good eats.
|photo by Jennifer Yu|
Stealth mode: Porcini hunting in a manner such that nobody might suspect what you are doing, thus not giving away your spots. I could give you details here, but I'd have to kill you.
Weekender: Someone who hunts porcini on the weekends only. "I need to go to my spot on Thursday so I can see if there is any action before the weekenders get there."