BC couple rejoices over discovering obscenely large porcini mushroom

By Staff Writer

David Swab was foraging through the coastal B.C. forest’s damp undergrowth when he jumped with a shriek. He beckoned over his wife, Olya Kutsiuruba,

“So I move this brush back and we find this enormous, enormous King Bolete and promptly start to just laugh hysterically because it is the biggest mushroom we’ve ever seen,” Kutsiuruba told the CBC.

The couple had stumbled upon a near 3-kilogram behemoth mushroom, roughly the size of a basketball.

“It’s perfect. It’s intact. It has been sitting in this beautiful little ecosystem in this underbrush, untouched,” said Kutsiuruba. “We just got really giddy and happy and couldn’t stop squealing and laughing.”

The King bolete, also commonly known as the porcini mushroom, can often be found across North America and Europe. One of such size however, is uncommon. Kutsiuruba told the CBC she plans on making stops and soups, and the giant mushroom will provide more than a year’s supply.

Mushroom experts have said that this year has been particularly fruitful for mushroom hunters. The majority of the fungal body remains underground, and the mushroom that appears above ground is the reproductive organ. The fungus can store nutrients underground and then produce larger fruiting bodies.

Experts also warn against mushroom hunting-it is advised to only consume a mushroom if you are absolutely certain it is edible, as certain difficult-to-distinguish varieties can be life threatening when consumed. Porcinis belong in a family with pores underneath the mushroom cap, although there are many of varieties of pore-bearing mushrooms that are inedible.

For those interested in learning more about mushrooms, the Vancouver Mycological Society will host its annual mushroom show at the Vandusen Botanical Gardens on October 21.