The most popular mushroom among pickers is the cep, also known as porcino. The German name 'Herrenpilz' - the 'gentleman's mushroom' - is derived from the fact that traditionally, when this mushroom was found, it had to be given to the squire or estate owner.
The cep belongs to the boletus genus, which is known for its firm flesh. Its smooth cap reaches a diameter of 5-25 cm. The cap is light to chestnut brown. The tubes on the underside of the cap are whitish when young but age to a greenish-yellow colour. The stalk is shaped like a club and is covered in fine white reticulations. The cep can be found between September and November in coniferous forests, under spruce trees, and - as a rule - before the first frost comes and the ground freezes.
Do not wash ceps to prepare them, since they can become saturated with water. It is better to use a small brush to brush them off or to wipe them clean with some kitchen roll.
As the name bay bolete suggests, this mushrooms belongs, like the cep, to the boletus genus. Its cap is chestnut brown and only grows to between 5 and 10 cm. The tubes are initially pale white, but become a yellowish or greenish colour as the specimen ages. When bruised, it turns a greeny blue colour. The mushroom has a very mild to slightly sour taste. It is difficult for novices to differentiate between ceps and bay boletes.
Bay boletes grow primarily in coniferous forests under spruce trees and larches. Sometimes a few specimens can also be found in deciduous forests - generally from September to November.
Beware: Bay boletes cannot be eaten raw! They are poisonous and cause diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.
Chanterelles are also known as gourmet mushrooms because of their tasty flesh and flavour. They are also known as golden chanterelles. Chanterelles are egg-yolk yellow or light yellow in colour. Their cap can reach a diameter of 10-15 cm. The cap is initially dome-shaped and has an involute edge. As the mushroom ages, it flattens out and deepens in the middle. The gills are also an egg-yolk yellow colour and run almost all the way down the stalk.
The chanterelle has a very pleasant, fruity smell reminiscent of apricots. Chanterelles are found both in coniferous and deciduous forests. Carpets of chanterelle mushrooms are a common sight in forest clearings.
Caution: The chanterelle has a dangerous look-alike, the false chanterelle. It is mildly poisonous and ingesting it may result in gastrointestinal distress. Its cap looks deceptively like the chanterelle's. However, the differences can be seen on closer inspection: Its gills end at the stalk and are usually darker than the cap. The cap is considerably thinner. The stalk is thin and hollow.