General information

Pepper mushroom: poisonous or not


Pepper mushroom is a rather rare tubular macromycete, which, as a rule, grows one by one. However, there are also small groups. Pepper mushroom grows quite rarely in open dry areas of soil in coniferous and deciduous forests. You can find it from mid-summer to mid-autumn.


Pepper dish (it is depicted in the third photo) should not be confused with pepper mushroom. They have nothing in common with each other and even belong to different genera. Pepper mushroom in appearance resembles a butter dish. It has a convex cap, which flattens out over time. Her skin is moist and smooth. After the rain, it becomes sticky. As a rule, the cap is colored in a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown shade.

The tubular layer has large pores. Its color is close to the shade of the cap, only slightly darker. The leg is thin at the base, rounded, solid inside. It can be curved or straight, reach a height of about 8 cm and a diameter of 1 cm. Its surface is the same color as the cap (sometimes it can be somewhat lighter), matte, smooth. Mushroom pulp fragile and friable, painted in yellow color, without any smell. However, it tastes very bitter, resembling pepper. It is because of this that he got his name.

Edible discussions

Oddly enough, but the subject of serious controversy was a relatively small pepper mushroom. Photos can be viewed in this article. Opinions fans of "quiet hunting" were divided into diametrically opposed. Some mushroom pickers recognize this macromycete as inedible. Others say that although it is not well known, it is good for food not only in pickled and salted, but even in fresh or dried form. Some use pepper mushroom (dried), ground into powder, as a spicy seasoning for various dishes.

According to fans of this mushroom, it is underestimated, and is inedible because of the bitter taste. Prolonged cooking makes it possible to eat it, although it still cannot completely remove the peculiar taste. Often, even well cooked pepper mushroom gives bitterness to food. Nevertheless, he has a lot of fans. Its taste seems to many to be refined, because it gives dishes spicy spiciness.

Opinion of experts

Pepper mushroom is ambiguously evaluated by scientists. Many experts say that it is absolutely safe. However, some biochemist scientists unequivocally assess it as poisonous. They claim that there are rare and very toxic compounds in the composition of this macromycete, which are not destroyed by heating. By eating this fungus, they accumulate in the body. These compounds gradually destroy the liver cells and provoke mutations in them. The outcome of these processes may be oncology or cirrhosis. Moreover, it is very difficult to establish their reasons, since it can take years between eating pepper mushroom and a disease. Therefore, the disease is attributed to something else, and the fungus remains “edible.” The first sign of pathology is the severity and discomfort in the right hypochondrium. In view of the above, there can be only one recommendation. While the experts have definitely not proved the safety of the pepper mushroom, one should not risk taking it for food.

Description and photo of pepper mushroom

In the description of the pepper mushroom stands cap. This spongy massive formation, which has a dense skin with an oily surface.

In young individuals, the color of the cap is light red with a copper tint. In more mature age, the cap is painted in a rich rust color.

The hemispherical pillow shape is maintained throughout the growing season. The inner side is represented by a spongy substance, which is slightly different in color from the cap.

It consists of small tubes filled with spore powder. When pressed, it can change color and release a red secretory fluid.

The maximum size of the cap is 7 cm. Larger individuals in the forests of Russia are not found.

When cut, the flesh gets a reddish tint. The original color is rich yellow with a sulfur tint. The smell is almost absent.

The leg differs in curvature and some expansion to the place of fastening of the cap. The color of the legs rarely differs from the color of the cap

Inside the leg is filled with a dense substance, which reddens after cutting. The maximum thickness reaches 1.5 cm. The leg length can grow up to 8 cm.

Is it possible to eat pepper mushroom?

Pepper mushroom refers to conditionally edible, and most biologists allow its use for culinary purposes. But many domestic and Western experts claim that the pulp of the fungus contains a rare toxic substance, all of whose properties are still not fully understood.

It was established experimentally that the toxin is not completely destroyed by prolonged heat treatment, but only modified. The human body is able to accumulate a modified form of the toxin.

The danger of using this product is that the symptoms of poisoning the body with its toxins do not appear immediately, but after a few weeks or months. The poison acts directly on the liver cells, causing pathological changes in them, provoking the development of cancer and cirrhosis. Initially, this manifests itself in the form of bile taste in the mouth and discomfort in the right hypochondrium, and later the active progression of the disease begins.

Since there is a long period of time between the very fact of eating pepper mushroom and the symptoms of the disease, it is not possible to establish their link for sure. Today this version is more theoretical than practical. Everyone decides for himself, edible or not, this mushroom.

  • the diameter of the cap is small - within 2-8 cm. Young mushrooms have a convex-rounded cap, as it ages, it becomes even. The top layer does not have mucus, soft to the touch, can give glare when exposed to sunlight. The color of the cap is light brown, with different shades of red,
  • leg - height up to 8 cm, rather thin (up to 1.5 cm in diameter). Leg thickness may be uneven and taper to the base. The color matches the color of the cap of the fungus or the tone is lighter. The leg has no ruffles and "skirt", smooth over the entire surface,
  • the color of the pulp is yellow with a reddish tinge. Redness is enhanced by cutting,
  • the structure of the cap is fragile, loose, breaks without effort,
  • taste - sharp, burning,
  • tubular layer - with large pores of different sizes. The porous layer fits tightly to the leg or slightly grows on it. Color - brown or brown with a red tint. If you squeeze the tubular layer with your fingers, a pronounced brown tint will appear.

The collection season extends from mid-summer to mid-autumn. This mushroom does not grow "families", a maximum of 2-3 individuals on one mycelium.

Other name

Pepper mushroom has several titles: peppermint, peppermint. Scientifically, it is called Chalcíporus piperátus (Latin). Also, sometimes you can find his descriptions under the names of Boletus piperatus, Xerocomus piperatus. The mushroom belongs to the family of boletes, the genus Chalciporus. Sometimes it is referred to the genus Shrove. Hymenophore is tubular.

Is it possible to eat

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. Different sources contain conflicting information on this subject, identifying the fungus as conditionally edible, inedible, and even poisonous.

If you believe the numerous encyclopedias of the mushroom picker, then the poison in the pepper butter dish does not contain. By conventionally edible it is ranked because of the bitterness in the taste. However, there are sources that claim that his taste is not sharp, but pleasant, and the bitterness goes away after heat treatment. Therefore, this butterdish is advised to use as a spicy seasoning, replacing pepper. To make the dish sharp, pepper mushrooms are boiled and added as such or dried and ground into powder. According to reviews of people who cooked pepper mushroom, it tastes dried and fried. Also it is pickled and salted. In some Western and Russian sources devoted to the mushroom families, Chalcíporus piperátus is ranked as inedible and poisonous specimens. It is believed that its pulp contains toxic substances that are not removed by heat treatment and tend to accumulate in the human body. They provoke the destruction of the liver, can lead to cirrhosis and cancer. Symptoms of poisoning, as a rule, do not appear immediately after eating the fungus, but only after a few months. Therefore, it is difficult to prove precisely that the mushroom dish is the cause of a person’s poor health.

Note that most of the authors of the literature on the mushroom theme still tend to consider pepper butterdish conditionally edible. It does not lead to rapid poisoning or death.

How does it look

You can see the peppered mushroom in the photo. It is small in size and has a traditional appearance - a hat located on the stem.

The cap in a diameter reaches sizes from 2 to 7 cm. It is painted in brown tones, it can include red, brown, rusty shades. It has a rounded convex shape. In the mature state, it straightens and becomes flat or flat-convex.

The skin is dry, smooth, slightly velvety. Removing it from the cap is problematic.

The pulp of the fruit body is loose in consistency, in color - with a yellowish tinge. When cutting or fracture is usually painted in a reddish tint. To taste the flesh is hot. Her fragrance is mild.

Tubular layer

The lower surface of the fruit body is covered with adherent tubular hymenophore, which falls on the leg. The tubes are filled with spore powder. In color they are identical with the color of the cap. When pressed, the tubular layer may change to a reddish color.

The foot usually grows from 3 to 8 cm in height and from 3 to 15 mm in width. The shape resembles a cylinder, narrowed to the bottom. For some representatives, it has a slight bend. Its pulp is dense, breaks easily.

The color of the legs is in harmony with the head, sometimes it can get lighter shades. At the soil surface, the foot is colored yellow. There are no rings on the leg.

Growth and seasonality

Most often pepper mushroom comes across in coniferous forests, especially where there are a lot of pines, forming an association with them. Occasionally he also becomes an inhabitant of forest plantations with deciduous trees or among mixed plantings.

It is easy to meet him in the entire northern zone with a temperate climate - in Europe, the Caucasus, the Urals, and Siberia. He is also spotted on the island of Tasmania.

Pepper butterdish often prefers to grow alone, but sometimes it also occurs in small groups of 3–4 specimens.

The period of fructification falls on July - October. The mass appearance of fruit bodies is observed in August - September.

What can be confused

Like most representatives of the mushroom kingdom, peppermint has twins, similar in appearance to it. These include mushrooms such as edible goat, some types of oil. Kozlyak The main difference from the listed species is the sharp taste, the reddish color of the hymenophore and the absence of a ring on the leg.

Video: Pepper Mushroom

So, pepper mushroom is considered to be conditionally edible mushrooms because of its sharp taste. However, according to the testimony of the people who prepared it, the bitterness and sharpness disappear after heat treatment. In some sources, this fungus is even classified as poisonous - the authors claim that the harmful substance can accumulate in the human body and lead to destructive actions in relation to the liver. Nevertheless, convincing evidence of this assertion has not yet been presented.

When appears

The first fruit bodies grow in July. By the end of October, fruiting ceases completely. Mushrooms grow singly. It is rare to find two copies in one place. If autumn is rainy, then the mushrooms disappear.

  • The cap does not grow more than 6 centimeters in diameter. It is convex and looks like an oiler cap. On top of the skin is smooth and dry. With high humidity, the peel is covered with mucus. The cap is painted in a rusty brown, red-brown or yellow-brown color. In an overgrown mushroom, the cap acquires the color of rust. At the bottom of the cap is a tubular layer with large pores. It is colored slightly darker than the top of the cap.
  • The flesh is colored dirty yellow, when broken or cut, the color becomes reddish. To the touch it is loose and fragile. The smell is absent.
  • The thin cylindrical leg grows up to 8 centimeters. It is straight or curved, painted in the color of the cap. The surface is smooth to the touch. The characteristic ring on the leg is missing.

Toxicity assessment

Biochemists rate this fungus as poisonous. They found a rare toxic substance in the pulp, which at high temperature does not lose its toxic properties, but gradually accumulates in the body. The poison gradually destroys the liver cells. As a result, there may be cancer or cirrhosis of the liver. The difficulty of determining the cause of the disease lies in the fact that between eating a poisonous pepper mushroom and the disease are like months and even years. For sure there is no possibility to associate the disease with the use of mushrooms.

It is reasonable to consider this mushroom poisonous. But the effect of poison is stretched in time.

Pepper mushroom description

The cap in diameter is from 2 to 7 centimeters, its shape is convex, rounded, then takes on an almost flat shape. To the touch, the cap has a slightly sticky texture, smooth and shiny surface. The color of the cap varies from light brown to dark brown similar to rust, the cap can also be speckled in yellow, red, orange or brown.

The pulp oily pepper has a loose texture and breaks easily. The flesh of the cap is yellowish, and the legs are yellow sulfur. The taste is sharp hot pepper.

The tubular layer is an increment or running down. The color of the pores, as well as the color of the cap, varies from light brown to rusty brown, and the shape is curved and large.

The leg has a length of 3 to 8 centimeters, and a small thickness - up to a maximum of one and a half centimeters. The color is in the same tone as the cap or lighter, the shape is often curved, to the base the leg turns yellow and tapers.

Similar types of mushrooms

Pepper butterdish, like any other mushroom, has twins on one basis or another: taste, appearance, and so on. Such mushrooms for pepper are yellow fungus or gorchak, goat. But do not be afraid to overlap the fungus, as Pepper does not have similar poisonous types of mushrooms.

The gorchak has a yellowish stem, a burning taste, the color of the tubular layer is milky and later becomes gray, the flesh is wavy, white.

The goat has a peanut-yellow color of the legs, a soft and delicate taste, the color of the tubular layer is dirty yellow without orange spraying, the flesh is soft and has a pink or cream color.

Is pepper drip poisonous?

Each mushroom picker has his own opinion on this question. But it is certain that the Pepper Mushroom is not poisonous, since it does not cause poisoning and, all the more, fast death.

Russian biochemists hold the opinion that the mushroom is inedible, since the product contains in its composition very strong chemical compounds that are not destroyed by heat treatment. These compounds slowly and gradually destroy the liver and lead to oncology.

But Russian mushroom pickers are divided into two opinions. Some practitioners claim that pepper mushroom can be eaten, but with the condition that the mushroom will be boiled 2-3 times in different water before use, due to the treatment, a peculiar taste will be dulled. But most of the mushroom pickers consider the mushroom to be one hundred percent inedible.

English-language sources claim that Pepper Mushroom is definitely edible and has a special unforgettable taste.

Despite all the differences between scientists from different countries, on the Internet you can find a large number of recipes for seasoning and pepper mushroom sauce.

Recipe for seasoning peppermint

This seasoning is widespread and popular, as it does not take long to prepare. It is an excellent substitute for any hot pepper, and in addition to the taste, the dish acquires a mushroom flavor.

Many chefs love to cook this seasoning and add to various dishes, thus giving it a piquancy. In fact, the Pepper Mushroom has fans who use it not only as a seasoning, but also make sauces from it, pickle and salt it, some use it even raw.

But science still advises to pay attention to other types of fungi that are more beneficial to the human body.

Distribution and collection season

Pepper butterdish can be found in all territories from Europe to the Far East, including the forests of the North Caucasus. There are cases of fees on the islands of Australia. In our country, it grows from July to October.

Хорошо прижился в сухих лесах разного типа, особенно «дружит» с соснами и молодыми берёзами. Есть мнение, что паразитирует на красном мухоморе. Растёт в одиночку или в «компании» по 2-3 экземпляра.

Сходные виды и как отличить от них

Как и у любого гриба, при описании маслёнка перечного возникают сходные признаки с другими видами и подвидами. С одними имеет сходный вкус, на другие похож внешне. To understand how to distinguish the pepper mushroom from the goatling or to figure out what the bitchak is holding in their hands - the table will help.

Pepper mushroom has nothing to do with peppery, except for the name. Poisonous twins in pepper mushroom no.


Regarding the edibility of peppermint, Russian and foreign scientists and practitioners show an amazing "inappropriateness".

There are three main opinions that are equally zealously defended by their own group:

  1. The mushroom is inedible. The official opinion of the Russian-language science. Biochemists said that these boilers contain rare and very toxic compounds that are not destroyed by heat treatment. They slowly but consistently destroy the liver, leading to cirrhosis and oncology.
  2. Edible buttermilk. The official opinion of the English-language science. Some mushroom pickers from Europe openly call its taste qualities “stunning”.
  3. Conditionally edible mushroom. Opinion of Russian practitioners of mushroom pickers. "Experienced by" they found out that when cooking pepper mushrooms in two or three waters, its bitter taste weakens considerably and gives the dish a pleasant savor. Part of the people believe that this butter dish is suitable for food not only in the form of seasoning, but also in pickled, salted and even fresh form. But the rest of the mushroom pickers hold opinions diametrically opposed and do not recognize pepper butter dish in any form.

One thing is certain: this mushroom does not belong to unconditionally poisonous, causing severe poisoning and quick death.

Cooking seasoning

Pepper mushrooms have a special property - they make a wonderful spicy seasoning that perfectly replaces hot peppers in the right dish, at the same time giving the dish a mushroom flavor. Preparing it is very simple:

  • mushrooms wash well and break,
  • boil,
  • dry (if in the oven - dry for at least three hours: first turning over twice in an hour, then every half hour until the final drying),
  • grind
  • dry again
  • transfer to the storage jar.

Professional chefs use such seasoning “in commonwealth” with ordinary pepper, which leads gourmands into complete delight. The best taste and aroma will give the mushroom powder, sprinkled already on the almost ready dish.

Despite all the special recommendations of those who like culinary experiments, we do not recommend taking risks. Pepper mushroom is not the only mushroom richness of our forests, therefore it is better to pay attention to the taste characteristics of more useful specimens.