Porcini, or boletus edulis, is one of the most prized edible mushrooms in the world and a species within genus boletus. The genus consists of about 30 related boletes with specific characteristics. They are mild-tasting with a white flesh that does not change color when exposed to air. Boletus display a distinctive yellow-brown or olive-brown spore print. Known to the Italians as porcini, the name varies from region to region. In France these mushrooms are known as cepes. Boletus edulis are considered very safe to eat because there are no known poisonous varieties that resemble them.
Boletus grow throughout Europe, in parts of Asian and can be found extensively in the United States. They grow at greatly varied elevations, from close to sea level to over 10,000 feet, often times close to pine, spruce or fir trees. They are harvested in such diverse ecosystems as found in Maine, Northern Michigan, the high mountains of the Rockies and the West
Consumption of boletus is highest in Europe although they are being used more frequently in American cuisine. They can be eaten fresh and sometime frozen, either directly or after sautéing in butter. Most commonly they are dried which intensifies their flavor. Soaking in water or a broth are the most common methods to reconstitute dried porcini before cooking.