Have you ever been in the beautiful Phu Quoc island where you can taste many delicious specialty foods? Do not miss bitter bolete – a specialty food of the island. Its fruit bodies have convex to flat caps that are some shade of brown, buff, or tan, and typically measure up to 15 cm in diameter. The pore surface is initially white before turning pinkish with age. Bitter bolete is rich in nutrition and tasty so that it is used as a favorite ingredient to cook a wide range of flavorful dishes. The harvesting season of bitter bolete is from March to April in the lunar calendar. During this time, wet decomposing cajuput leaves create a suitable environment for bitter bolete growing from the ground, local people go to cajuput forests to harvest the fungus.
Bitter bolete has a bitter taste so that it needs to be prepared before cooking. Raw bitter bolete should be washed, soaked in salt water, boiled for a few times, wash again with cold water. Now the fungus is less bitter and ready for cooking. Some local people like the bitter taste of the fungus so that they only boil it once. They also freeze the fungus or dry it to store for a long time. One of the interesting facts is that if diner drinks water after eating bitter bolete dishes which is not bitter, he will feel a bitter taste in his mouth.
Some delicious dishes from bitter bolete:
- Soup with bitter bolete, egg yolk and barracuda.
- Soup with bitter bolete and seafood
- Soup with bitter bolete and chicken
- Stir-fried bitter bolete
- Porridge with bitter bolete
- Soup with bitter bolete and sweet potato leaf
If you come to Phu Quoc, do not miss a chance to enjoy these great dishes and buy some dried bitter bolete to bring home as a valuable gift to your family and friends.