Russula kicked and crumbled

Russula kicked 1969

Many foragers do not especially like russulas, because they are relatively fragile and many of them are hot, peppery or acrid-tasting. There are many species, and quite a few have not been described yet. There are at least 125 red russulas and they are extremely difficult to identify. Some can be identified by macroscopic characters, but most undoubtedly require chemical and microscopic analysis. Several make great edibles. In eastern Europe and Russia families go out into the forests to collect mushrooms and even the hottest tasting of russulas are considered suitable for eating or using as a peppery ‘spice’. However, it is common practice to boil the most acrid tasting ones several times in fresh water prior to eating them to remove the bitter taste.