The rufous milkcap (Lactarius rufus) is a very common mushroom 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 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. Milkcap prefers acidic soil, it can be found in (mixed) pine forests and bogs. It forms a symbiosis with pines, and sometimes also birches. 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. Milkcaps are usually pickled or salted.
What are the benefits of milkcaps?
Similarly to other mushrooms, not many nutrients in milkcap can be digested in full and are absorbed in the intestine. Therefore, milkcaps are a great addition to a weight loss diet, as 100 grams of the mushroom contains just 20 kilocalories of energy.