Porcon Mushrooms:

What Are They?, history, cultivation, nutritional value, uses, recipes, and more...

Suillus luteus, also known as the Pine Mushroom, Porcón Mushroom, or Marayhuaca Mushroom, is an edible mushroom species that forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of pine trees. It possesses nutritional properties that make it highly sought after in the global market. In Peru, its commercialization and exportation are experiencing successful growth.

What are the Porcón Mushrooms?

Suillus luteus is a species of edible wild mushroom belonging to the Boletales order. It’s widespread throughout Europe and grows exclusively in symbiosis with pine trees, mainly P. radiata and P. patula. These mushrooms are ectomycorrhizal fungi (INFOR, 2005).

The cap of the mushroom measures between 4 and 18 cm in diameter. Initially hemispherical, it becomes convex with shades ranging from yellowish-brown to dark chestnut when young, gradually fading as it matures. The cap is very sticky or gelatinous due to its moist cuticle, which can easily be peeled off and should be removed before consumption due to the potential for digestive discomfort (Paccioni, 1982).

The base of the cap (hymenium) is composed of tubes that together give it a spongy and porous appearance. These structures carry the spores, which are light brown. As they mature, the sponge-like structure changes color from creamy to yellow (Palomo and Chimey, 2016a). Due to the presence of these tubes or pores, they are called “spongy-pored mushrooms” (García, 1999).

The stem is relatively short, typically measuring 3 to 13 cm in length and 1 to 3 cm in diameter. It is white to pale yellow in color (Paccioni, 1982). The upper part of the stem often bears glandular dots (generally in maturity), and a distinctive membranous ring is present, firmly attached to the stem (stipe), which are remnants of the veil that covered the base of the cap.

While it doesn’t have a particular preference for soil type, it grows under species of the Pinus genus, where it is relatively common. The fruiting body emerges from summer to autumn, and its pores are small and angular, initially yellow and becoming brownish as the mushroom ages. The flesh is soft, tender, pale yellowish-white, with a fruity aroma and a very subtle flavor.

History of the Porcón Mushrooms

It was in the 1980s that, with the support of the European Economic Community and Technical Cooperation from Belgium in agreement with the Peruvian government, campaigns for planting and reforestation of Pinus patula, Pinus pseudostrobus, Pinus muricata, Pinus radiata, Pinus montezumae, and Pinus greggii began in the Andean highlands of Ferreñafe, Lambayeque, and the Porcon farm in Cajamarca. The aim was to utilize the timber in areas where legumes and other self-consumption products were traditionally cultivated. Years later, the locals were surprised by the appearance of this edible mushroom from the Suillus luteus family, which naturally grows in symbiosis with the pines, but at first, they didn’t pay much attention to it.

It wasn’t until around 2008, when its culinary and nutritional properties became known, that the S. luteus mushroom gained national importance. The members of the San Isidro Labrador de Marayhuaca peasant community started to collect it from the Pinus radiata forests. In this area, the commercialization of this mushroom is significant as it generates income for community families living in poverty.

In 2015, the National Fund for Scientific, Technological, and Technological Innovation Development – FONDECYT, began developing technical, productive, organizational, and business management capacities to improve the production and commercial chain of these dehydrated edible wild mushrooms, S. luteus. Today, production is aimed at export, supplying exclusive restaurants in Lima, feeding local residents, and meeting the demand of visitors to the production areas.

In June of this year, the district of Incahuasi in the Lambayeque region exported six tons of mushrooms to the German market, marking its first shipment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

hongos de porcon alimento foods superalimentos peruanos
South AmericaPine mushroom, boletus, Ringed bolete, pinudi-onddo likin, sock-cap, knitted sock, “pine mushroom,” “yellow boletus,” “sticky bolete,” k’allampu, Paku
USASlippery Jack o Buttermushroom
SpecieS. luteus
  • Boletus luteus (L. ex Fries)
  • Boletus annulatus (Pers.)
  • Boletus volvatus Batsch (1783)
  • Cricunopus luteus (L.) P.Karst. (1881)
  • Viscipellis luteus (L.) Quél. (1886)
  • Ixocomus luteus (L.) Quél. (1888)
  • Boletopsis lutea (L.) Henn. (1898)

Its name comes from Latin “lutum,” which means yellow, which is an herb that was used in ancient times to dye fabrics yellow (Pacioni, 1982).

Habitat of Porcon Mushrooms

Habitat of Porcon Mushrooms

Suillus mushrooms are a globally distributed species. They naturally grow throughout Europe and the USA, are also widespread in the British Isles, and are associated with Pinus tree species. To the east, they have been recorded from Pakistan, where they were found along the canals in Dashkin in the Astore district, and as far east as South Korea. In Peru, the main producers are in the regions of Cajamarca, Lambayeque, Junín, Huancavelica, Cusco, Arequipa, and Puno. The main countries we export to are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Chile. Suillus luteus develops on the soil surface, mainly in Pinus radiata plantations, forming mycorrhizae. It grows in well-lit, young plantations, 8 to 10 years old. The appearance of its fruit bodies usually coincides with the start of regular autumn rains, continuing until spring and declining with the onset of persistent rains, at which point they are replaced by other species. The mushrooms start to appear after the fourth year of forest planting and reach their maximum production between 5-6 years of the stand, gradually decreasing, unless the forest undergoes silvicultural interventions (Donoso, 1989a). Its growth is better in humid and temperate conditions and acidic soils with a pH range between 4 and 5. It is also favored by sites with high percentages of organic matter, high coverage of herbaceous species, low tree species, and a shallow litter layer.

Geographic Distribution of Porcón Mushrooms


Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Junín, Huancavelica, Cuzco, Arequipa, Puno

Seasonal Availability of Porcón Mushrooms

Nutritional Value of Porcón Mushrooms

The pine mushroom (Suillus luteus) contains 20 grams of protein, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat, and 6 grams of minerals (Blanco, Fajardo, Verde & Rodríguez, 2012). These mushrooms are highly valued due to their high protein content, ample carbohydrates, and minimal fat.

Health Benefits of Porcón Mushrooms

The main health benefit that Suillus luteus offers lies in its high protein content.

Contraindications or Side Effects

Suillus luteus, and other Suillus species, can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, as well as digestive problems when their viscous skin is ingested. It is advisable to cook the mushroom before eating it and to remove the cuticle and glutinous tubes before boiling.


Tabla Nutricional

10 Porciones por Kilogramo
Tamaño de porción 100g
Cantidad por porción

Cantidad por 100g
Energía1,814 kJ
Grasa Total12.7 g
Carbohidratos totales74.9 g
    Carbohidratos disponibles73.8 g
    Fibra Dietaria1.1 g
Proteínas6.0 g
Calcio22 mg
Fósforo665 mg
Zinc0.64 mg
Hierro0.60 mg
Agua4.8 g
Cenizas1.6 g
Vitamina A0 μg
Tiamina (B1)0.04 mg
Riboflavina (B2)0.04 mg
Niacina (B3)0.50 mg
Vitamina C0.00 mg
Acido Fólico (B9)
Fuente: Tablas peruanas de composición de alimentos – Centro Nacional de Alimentación y Nutrición – Ministerio de Salud – Perú

Derived Products and Ways of Consuming Porcón Mushrooms

Beauty products
Manjar Blanco (dessert)
King Kong (dessert)

Uses of Porcon Mushrooms

The primary use of the luteus mushroom is gastronomic. It can be used to create a variety of delicious dishes and is an excellent vegan alternative due to its high protein content.

Culinary Use of Porcon Mushrooms

This mushroom holds high gastronomic value and is one of the main non-timber products of conifer plantations. It is characterized by its thick, tender flesh, white to yellowish cap with a spongy texture, and a more solid stem. Its aroma is subtly fruity, and its taste is delicate and sweet. After dehydration, it takes on a woody, smoky flavor, intense aroma, and fleshy, tender texture. While many believe it can only be used as a flavor enhancer in noodles or other dishes, it is a versatile ingredient that can replace meat in diets, making it a great vegetarian or vegan option. To consume, simply remove the skin cuticle and cook it to avoid digestive problems. It can be consumed in various forms: fresh and cooked, dehydrated, fried, preserved, candied, as flour, and more. Traditionally, it is used to make dishes such as mushroom capchi, stuffed fritters, sautéed mushrooms, infusions, ceviches, stews, desserts, and as a flavor enhancer in soups, sauces, and more. It can commonly be preserved dehydrated for extended periods and can be frozen for up to 9 months.

Medicinal Use of Porcon Mushrooms

These edible mushrooms prevent cancer, help lower cholesterol, boost the body's defenses, and reduce blood pressure.


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