The Milkcap (Lactarius rufus) is a common mushroom in the family Russulaecea within the Lactarius genus. It is very common in Estonia. It is brick red in colour. The cap is convex at first, but later flattens, eventually acquiring a shallow central depression. The cap is normally a couple of centimetres (and in exceptional cases up to 10 cm) in diameter. The edges of the cap are thin and bent downwards. The cap is smooth, and shiny and slippery in the event of rain. The Milkcap grows in the northern temperate zone up to Lapland. It is very common in Estonia, where it can be found in pine forests, bogs and mixed pine forests. It prefers acidic soil. It forms a symbiosis with pines, and sometimes also birches. It grows from July to November. The mushrooms often grow in groups. Milkcaps must be cooked for a long time (half an hour) to remove their bitter taste, and thereafter can also be soaked. They can be pickled or salted.
What are the benefits of milkcaps?
Milkcaps contain many proteins, carbohydrates, fats and organic acids, but not many nutrients that can be digested in full and that are absorbed in the intestine. Milkcaps are a great addition to a weight loss diet, as a hundred grams of the mushroom contains just 20 kilocalories of energy.