General information

Bitter - a description of where the toxicity of the fungus grows


Bitter is a fungus belonging to the genus of lactiflora (Lactarius), the Russulaceae family. It occurs in large groups and singly. It has several Latin names (Lactarius rufus, Agaricus rufus, Lactifluus rubescens, Lactarius rubescens), and there are even more Russians who are used by the people (bitter, putak, bitter, bitter red, goryanka).

The cap rarely exceeds 18 cm in diameter. It is bell-shaped in a young mushroom, but over time it becomes flat. The old mushroom is well recognizable by the cone-shaped impression in the central part. The color of the cap is reddish brown, does not change with time. A bitter mushroom has a smooth skin with a slight pubescence. The photos presented in the article demonstrate the subtlety of the edges of the cap.

The leg of the fungus has a cylindrical shape, its length does not exceed 7 cm, the thickness at the base is about 2 cm. Sometimes there is a grayish fluff on it, slightly reddening its color that brightens it. The young specimen has no cavities, unlike the old one. The pulp of the leg is light at the base, closer to the cap it acquires a characteristic brownish color.

Differs pepper taste and a peculiar delicate aroma of bitter. The mushroom has dense pulp. At breaks a thick white liquid is released that is not oxidized in air. The plates in which spores are formed are located under the cap. They are narrow, descending on the stem. Their color may be whitish or reddish. The spores are oval in shape, mesh in structure.

Bitter bitch is a mushroom that grows only in pine forests, coniferous forests or birch groves. Of all the genus of the lard is most common. Fruiting annual, despite the weather conditions. These mushrooms prefer wetland wetlands. Rarely wormy. Inexperienced mushroom pickers are unlikely to be able to distinguish them from similar whitegrass, brown crown, rubella, smooth skin.

Interesting fact: the fruit body of this fungus contains a substance suspending the development of Staphylococcus aureus, as well as a number of intestinal pathogenic bacteria.

In the west, gorchak is not eaten. However, in our country it is believed that bitter is an edible mushroom. But such a statement is conditional. Like many other representatives of this kingdom, bitter is able to accumulate radioactive elements, in particular cesium. This fact should be taken into account when choosing a gathering place. Before eating mushrooms must be soaked, removing the characteristic bitterness that gave them a name.

Bitter - a mushroom that requires soaking for at least three days with a daily two-time water change. It should be boiled over medium heat in salted water for 30 minutes, removing scaling that has formed. After the drain in a colander. Sterilize jars, pour peppercorns, salt and dill to the bottom. Spread the mushrooms in layers, adding chopped garlic and bay leaves and sprinkling with salt. At the end, pour in the vegetable oil, tighten the cap and put on salting in a cool place. Consume the product after 50 days. The ratio of ingredients per 1 kg of mushrooms: 5 tbsp. l salt, a few leaves of laurel, dill to taste, 5 cloves of garlic, 50 ml of vegetable oil.

Is it possible to eat?

From the name you can immediately understand that it is given for a reason. The word fully describes the taste. Scientists believe that this is the most bitter mushroom among all the carapaces. But many mushroom pickers still collect it to make preparations for the winter.

Why do they do it? Experts attribute this to the fact that the bitter is very common, and grows in large quantities. In any weather, they grow quite a lot. Therefore, mushroom pickers always bring them home in large quantities. But compared to other, more delicious mushrooms, the bitter bit is losing in many ways.

Important! This mushroom is classified as conditionally edible. It is not consumed raw or dried. But after processing, they can be pickled or marinated.

Since the mushroom is known to people for a long time, besides the scientific name, it also has several folk ones. For example, a bitter gruzd, Goryanka. Sometimes you can hear the name traveler, bitter.

People with an ulcer or diseases of any digestive organs, gastritis, as well as diseases of the kidneys or the heart, cannot eat bitter meat. It is also not desirable for children and pregnant women to use it.

The appearance of the bitter, as a rule, does not change. But there are many poisonous species that can be confused with it. Therefore, before collecting a mushroom, you must carefully study the features of its appearance.

Its diameter can be different. But most often it is within 4–12 cm. At first, the bitter’s hat has the appearance of a bell, and then it becomes more flat. In the center, a rather large tubercle with a slightly pointed end is clearly visible. This is one of the main distinguishing features of the species. The edges of the cap are thin, wrapped inside. The skin is smooth to the touch and is colored brown. When the weather is rainy, the surface glitters and becomes sticky.

It can be described as rather dense, but fragile. Young mushrooms have a flesh of a dirty white color. In old gorkušek it darkens, becomes brown-brown.

On slices, there is a large amount of clear juice. If you touch it with your lips, there will be a burning sensation. In contact with air, this juice does not change its shade. The smell of the pulp is not very pronounced, but, according to many, quite unpleasant.

This part of the fungus has the correct shape of a cylinder. On average, its length is about 7 cm. The color of the legs usually corresponds to the color of the cap, but it is lighter. At its base you can consider the felt wrapper of mycelium. Inside young bitteries, the leg is solid, and in older representatives it is hollow. Sometimes there is a spongy filler inside, which may be red or gray.

As a rule, they are light in a young mushroom. And over-matured records acquire the tone of a cap. They are quite narrow, often located.

Where grows

To collect these mushrooms, there is no need to look for them for a long time. You can see them almost everywhere. Going to any forest, you will find this mushroom under a birch or pine. Especially intensively they grow in glades with a wet and acidic land on which moss grows.

Bitter can grow one by one or as a group. You can collect them from June to October. Sometimes mushroom pickers pick them up to the very frost.

These fungi tend to absorb harmful substances intensively. Therefore, it is recommended to collect them only in environmentally friendly areas.

Twin Mushrooms

Representatives of this species can be easily confused with other similar species. Experienced fungi recommend that you carefully consider the mushroom before putting it in your basket. They advise to pay attention to the tubercle on the cap, as well as the juice, which should be allocated when breaking. These are the most significant distinctive features of the species. But for greater certainty, you should also familiarize yourself with some similar species.

  1. Hemorrhagic liver. These mushrooms are inedible. They also secrete juice when they break the pulp, but when it comes into contact with air it becomes yellowish. Their flesh is different yellowish-brown tint. Sometimes there are specimens with creamy pulp.
  2. Swamp swollen It grows in coniferous forest, prefers swampy soil.
  3. Mlechnik camphor. This mushroom can be eaten, but mushroom pickers usually do not collect it because of the specific unpleasant taste. The size of the crab is less, it can be distinguished by its floral aroma. The cap also has a tubercle, but it is not so pronounced. The pulp does not produce such a caustic juice, which has a sweetish taste.
  4. Mlechnik stunted. The juice secreted by this fungus turns yellow on contact with oxygen. His hat has a lighter shade.
  5. Gladysh refers to edible mushrooms. His hat is smooth, there is no tubercle. It is painted in red and chestnut color. The leg of the smooth is shorter, and the taste is somewhat bitter.

Use and benefits

If you have not previously collected this mushroom, as it was considered tasteless, but still decided to try, it is very important to know how to prepare it correctly.

Immediately after you cut the mushroom, it must be well cleaned so that it does not leave moss and leaves. In the basket it is recommended to put the bitter cap downwards. As soon as you brought the collected mushrooms home, immediately wash them, remove the spoiled ones. Once again, reconsider if you have any similar fungus of another species. When there are only quality mushrooms in which you are sure, you need to pour them with water for 3 days. This is done in the event that further you plan to process them in a hot way. During this time, the water needs to be drained several times. This is desirable to do as often as possible. After soaking, if done correctly, the bitterness of the product goes away. Before salting in a cold way, the duration of soaking should last about 6 days.

After soaking the mushrooms are washed and then salted or marinated by selecting the appropriate recipe.


The name of bitters does absolutely match their taste. Botanists consider them the most bitter representatives of the genus of the lard. Nevertheless, this does not prevent lovers of quiet hunting to collect this species for winter blanks.

Experts attribute such attachment to this representative of the mushroom kingdom to its widespread and high yield. Every year, in all weather conditions, bitters are richly fruiting, which gives the mushroom pickers confidence in a good collection of forest trophies. Of course, in comparison with saffron milk mushrooms, milk mushrooms and other more valuable mushrooms, they remain the loser. Experts attribute bitter to conditionally edible mushrooms of the IV category. This means that the mushroom is not used in its raw and dried form. Most often, salting or marinade is made from raw materials after pretreatment.

In scientific sources, these fruit bodies are called bitters, and people know them as:

  • bitter red,
  • bitter grudge
  • Goryanka,
  • gorchak,
  • gorzd-gorchak,
  • Putuk, traveler.

How does it look

Bitter varieties in appearance are unusual. But there are many similar poisonous fungi from the milky kind, with which they are easily confused, so let's take a closer look at the outward signs of bitters.

The diameter of this part of the fungus can vary from 4 to 11 centimeters. Initially, it develops in the form of a bell, and over time it becomes flat and funnel-shaped. At the same time, a large pointed tubercle is clearly visible in the center, which is an important sign of bitters. The edges of the cap are distinguished by their fine structure and turning inward. The peel on the surface is smooth, uniform red-brown in color, with slight pubescence. In the rain season, the mushroom becomes sticky and shiny.

It is characterized by a good density, but fragile. In young mushrooms, the color of the flesh is off-white, and in the old ones - with a slight chestnut-brown tinge. Under the skin almost always keeps the pigment of the cap. In the places of slices, a colorless milky juice is liberally secreted, which burns the lips and never changes color when exposed to oxygen. The flesh is rarely damaged by a wormhole, it has a low specific odor, which many consider unpleasant.

It features a regular cylindrical shape, a length of up to 7 centimeters and a light tone of colors corresponding to the cap. At the base always has a felt wrapper of mycelium. In young fungi, the inner part of the leg is solid, while in the old it is hollow. Sometimes it can be with a spongy filler grayish or reddish color.

In young bitters, the plates are always light, while in overripe ones they become to match the hat. Are located often, rather narrow, ascending on a cylindrical leg.

Where is growing, when to collect

To gather up bitter cups, it is not necessary to know special places. They grow everywhere, in any forests, especially under pines and birches. Love very much wet glades with sour soilwhere moss and lichen grow.

Such a trophy can be found in solitary form or in groups. The season of abundant fruiting in bitters begins in June and lasts until mid-autumn. Sometimes lovers of quiet hunting can harvest even after the first frost.


According to experts, bitter milk mushrooms, although they have a specific flavor, but in moderate amounts benefit the body. It has been experimentally proven that the pulp contains a natural antibiotic that blocks pathogens of Staphylococcus aureus, as well as intestinal and hay sticks. But for food consumption, the mushroom is suitable only in pickled or pickled form. And to eliminate the unpleasant burning bitterness, the product should be soaked.

How much to soak

Experienced housewives, who have been preparing winter pickles from bitter cups for years, advise to cut off the foliage and moss immediately in the forest, then carefully put them in the basket with the cap down. At home, the entire crop should be thoroughly washed and inspected for damage. Selected quality specimens pour for three days with cold water (provided that the further preparation will be carried out in the hot way).

It is important to periodically drain the liquid, as it is stretched by the burning milky juice. It is advisable to do this at least 2-3 times. The more often you change the water, the better. After the procedure, the raw materials will cease to be bitter. If you plan to salt mushrooms in a cold way, soaking should last up to 6 days.

How to pickle

After soaking the mushrooms, rinse again, shorten the legs to 2 centimeters and sort them according to the size of the caps. In this form, the bitter for about 30 minutes boil over low heat in salted water. Do not forget to periodically stir and remove boiling foam. Then the broth should cool, then the mushrooms can be discarded in a colander to drain excess water. Meanwhile, you can do the sterilization of cans. It is better to do this in the oven, making sure that you put the dry container inside. Enameled buckets, cans and pans are also suitable for pickles. After completing all the manipulations, bay leaves, as well as the leaves of black currant, horseradish, black and sweet pepper, cloves, and finely chopped dill are placed on the bottom of the prepared container. Mushrooms sprinkle with chopped garlic and salt. The containers are filled with bitterbuds and sunflower oil is poured from above or mustard powder is poured.

Per kilogram of boiled mushrooms consumption of products is calculated based on the classical proportions:

  • 5 tablespoons of salt,
  • 50 ml of vegetable oil
  • other ingredients - to taste.

The prepared containers are closed with caps and sent to a cool place for 50 days for soldering. When using enamelware, be sure to use the load so that the mushrooms are always in brine. It is placed on top of the faience plate.

Description and characteristics

Bitterness has a flat-convex cap, the diameter of which reaches 11-12 cm. Adult specimens are characterized by a funnel-shaped, fleshy, dry red-brown, matte surface. In the central part of the cap, there is often an pointed tubercle surrounded by a depression. Mature specimens often have a dark red or red-brown cap with slightly pronounced, lighter circular areas. On the surface may be marked thin-striated type, dull opaque staining.

Bitter Mushrooms: collection (video)

Bitterness is a gift of nature, which is suitable not only for food, but also used in medicine. Its tissues contain a substance that negatively affects certain pathogenic bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus. So bitters can not only be used for food, but also prove to be healthy.

Description of bitter

The diameter of the cap varies from 4 to 10 centimeters. At first its form is bell-shaped, then flat, and in mature mushrooms it becomes slightly indented. A pointed cone-shaped tubercle remains in the center.

The edges of the cap are folded inward, they are thin in structure. The skin of the cap is red-brown in color, but towards the edges it becomes much lighter. The surface is smooth with a slight pubescence. In wet weather, the cap becomes sticky and shiny.

The flesh is fragile, dense, has a faint smell, the taste of her pepper. When the pulp is damaged, a sharp, thick white milky juice is released. On the cut, the color of the pulp does not change.

Leg length reaches 4-7 centimeters. Its color is reddish, cylindrical shape. Leg thin, matte, slightly thickened at the base. The surface of the foot is covered with a whitish down. Plinus descending on the stem, often located wide. Spores are oval, mesh. Spore powder is white.

The variability of bitter loading

The color of the cap remains unchanged, but the leg is solid at first, but as it grows it becomes hollow, sometimes a spongy substance appears in it. The legs are greyish at first, and then become reddish. The color of the plates varies from light brown to whitish. The flesh is white, and at the base it is most often redder.

Spreading and ecology of bitter

Bitters make mycorrhiza with conifers and birches. They can often be found in coniferous forests. В основном они растут на кисловатых почвах. Горькие грузди известны во многих регионах, это наиболее часто встречающийся вид рода Млечник.

Сезон сбора урожая горькушки – лето-осень. Since these mushrooms strongly accumulate radiocaesium, they are not recommended to be collected in places where Chernobyl sediments fall.

Food quality of the mountain woman

Bitter treats conditionally edible mushrooms. These mushrooms are suitable for consumption in marinated and salted form. When salting they become dark brown. To remove bitterness from bitter, it must be boiled and soaked thoroughly.

In foreign literature, these mushrooms are often inedible, but in our country they are loved and harvested. They are often referred to the 4th category of conditionally edible mushrooms. Most of all, bitters are suitable for salting, and they are rarely pickled.