Porcini mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor that doesn’t fade when they are dried or cooked. They are used as an ingredient in soups, sauces, risotto, and stews. Eating porcini mushrooms raw can cause stomach problems, but in smaller amounts the risk of this is low.
From Wikipedia: “Boletus edulis (English: penny bun, cep, porcino or porcini) is a basidiomycete fungus, and the type species of the genus Boletus. Widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere across Europe, Asia, and North America, it does not occur naturally in the Southern Hemisphere, although it has been introduced to southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. ...
Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in high regard in many cuisines, and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Although it is sold commercially, it is very difficult to cultivate. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. It keeps its flavour after drying, and it is then reconstituted and used in cooking. B. edulis is one of the few fungi sold pickled. The fungus also produces a variety of organic compounds with a diverse spectrum of biological activity, including the steroid derivative ergosterol, a sugar binding protein, antiviral compounds, antioxidants, and phytochelatins, which give the organism resistance to toxic heavy metals.”
“Boletus edulis constitutes a food source which, although not rich in easily absorbed carbohydrates or fat, contains vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Fresh mushrooms consist of over 80% moisture, although reported values tend to differ somewhat as moisture content can be affected by environmental temperature and relative humidity during "growing" and storage, as well as the relative amount of water that may be produced as a result of normal metabolic processes during storage. ...
A comparative study of the amino acid composition of eleven Portuguese wild edible mushroom species showed Boletus edulis to have the highest total amino acid content, about 2.3 g per 100 g of dried mushroom. This total includes a full complement of 20 essential and nonessential amino acids. Analysis of the free amino acids (that is, those not bound up in protein) revealed glutamine and alanine to be the principal amino acids (each about 25% of total compounds); a separate analysis concluded that lysine is another predominant compound.
Reported values of the composition and concentrations of trace metals and minerals in Boletus edulis tend to differ considerably, as the mushroom bioaccumulates different elements to varying degrees, and the element concentration in the fruit bodies is often a reflection of the element concentration of the soils from which they were picked. In general, B. edulis contains appreciable amounts of selenium (13–17 ppm), a trace mineral essential for good health, though the bioavailability of mushroom-derived selenium is low. Whole fruit bodies also contain 4.7 μg of vitamin D2 per 100 g dry weight. The relatively high ergosterol content (see next section) of the fruit bodies can make the mushroom nutritionally pragmatic for vegetarians and vegans, who would otherwise have a limited intake of vitamin D.”
“Boletus edulis, as the species epithet edulis directly implies, is an edible mushroom. Italian chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has described it as representing "the wild mushroom par excellence", and hails it as the most rewarding of all fungi in the kitchen for its taste and versatility. ...
The flavour has been described as nutty and slightly meaty, with a smooth, creamy texture, and a distinctive aroma reminiscent of sourdough. ...
Porcini are sold fresh in markets in summer and autumn in Central and Southern Europe, and dried or canned at other times of the year, and distributed worldwide to countries where they are not otherwise found. They are eaten and enjoyed raw, sautéed with butter, ground into pasta, in soups, and in many other dishes. In France, they are used in recipes such as cèpes à la Bordelaise, cèpe frits and cèpe aux tomates. Porcini risotto is a traditional Italian autumn dish. Porcini are a feature of many cuisines, including Provençal, and Viennese. They are used in soups and consumed blanched in salads in Thailand. Porcini can also be frozen — either raw or first cooked in butter. The colour, aroma, and taste of frozen porcini deteriorate noticeably if frozen longer than four months. Blanching or soaking and blanching as a processing step before freezing can extend the freezer life up to 12 months. They are also one of the few mushroom species pickled and sold commercially.”
“Boletus edulis has a cosmopolitan distribution, concentrated in cool-temperate to subtropical regions. It is common in Europe—from northern Scandinavia, south to the extremities of Greece and Italy—and North America, where its southern range extends as far south as Mexico. It is well known from the Borgotaro area of Parma, Italy, and has PGI status there. The European distribution extends north to Scandinavia and south to southern Italy and Morocco. In China, the mushroom can be found from the northeastern Heilongjiang Province to the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and Tibet. It has been recorded growing under Pinus and Tsuga in Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, as well as in the Indian forests of Arunachal Pradesh. In West Asia, the species has been reported from the northwest forests of Iran.”
“Common names for B. edulis vary by region. The standard Italian name, porcino (pl. porcini), means porcine; fungo porcino, in Italian, echoes the term suilli, literally "hog mushrooms", a term used by the Ancient Romans and still in use in southern Italian terms for this species. The derivation has been ascribed to the resemblance of young fruit bodies to piglets, or to the fondness pigs have for eating them. It is also known as "king bolete". The English penny bun refers to its rounded brownish shape. The German name Steinpilz (stone mushroom) refers to the species' firm flesh.”