Fat pig: edible or not, photo and description

Fat pig: edible or not, photo and description

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Fat pig, belonging to the genus Tapinella, has long been considered a mushroom with low taste properties, which was eaten only after thorough soaking and boiling. After several cases of poisoning, scientists suggested that the mushroom has unexplored toxic properties, and did not recommend it for consumption. Despite this, many mushroom pickers still consider the fat pig to be a completely edible mushroom and continue to collect it. This should be done very carefully, since there are related species officially recognized as poisonous. A photo and description of a fat pig will help to identify the main signs of difference and not make a mistake in choosing.

Where does the fat pig mushroom grow

The fat pig is a resident of regions with a temperate climate. It is common in coniferous forests, slightly less common in deciduous and mixed massifs. Its favorite places of growth are the roots and trunks of fallen trees, stumps overgrown with moss. The fungus settles in shady places, in lowlands and ravines. Pigs are woody saprotrophs that use dead wood for food, decomposing it into the simplest organic compounds. The fat pig lives in large colonies or alone. Fruiting begins in the second half of summer and continues until the end of October.

What a fat pig looks like

In numerous photos, you can see how a fat pig looks like, or a felt pig. This is a cap-pedunculated lamellar mushroom, which got its name from the thick stem and the shape of the cap, quite thick and fleshy, reaching 30 cm in diameter. Young pigs have a small, hemispherical cap. Gradually, it increases, becomes spatulate, with a depressed center and tucked edges. The young skin is felt to the touch, and over time it becomes smooth and dry, covered with cracks. The color of the cap is brown or dark orange, close to brown.

Important! A distinctive feature of the thick pig is the lilac color of the cap upon contact with ammonia. This is facilitated by the presence of organic tephoric acid, which is a blue pigment.

The fungus hymenophore consists of light, frequent plates, which darken with age.

The leg of a thick pig reaches 10 cm in height and 5 cm in width, it has dense flesh, covered with a felt bloom. It grows, shifting to the edge of the cap, sometimes it is curved.

The fat pig has a light, odorless pulp, with a bitter taste. It is hygrophilous (swells under the influence of moisture in the external environment), and quickly darkens at the break.

About the features of the variety with an illustrative example - in the video:

Fat pig edible or not

The fat-legged pig has a bitter and tough flesh. In Russia, it was always referred to as low-quality mushrooms and was eaten only as a last resort (if it was not possible to collect more valuable varieties of mushrooms). Later it was classified as conditionally edible crops not recommended for consumption. The reason for this was the presence of unexplored toxic elements in it. Toxins tend to gradually accumulate in the body with frequent consumption of the mushroom in food. Contributed to an increase in harm from the use of fat pig and the fact of the deterioration of the overall ecology of the planet. Lately, many city dwellers have observed and are seeing a decrease in immunity, and their susceptibility to allergic reactions is growing.

Therefore, in 1981, the fat pig was excluded by the USSR Ministry of Health from the list of mushrooms allowed for harvesting.

In the presence of other, more valuable mushrooms, the fat pig should not be collected. If the mushroom is still planned to be eaten, then this must be done with great precautions in order to minimize the possible harm to the body:

  • you should not eat plump pig often and in large quantities;
  • before cooking, mushrooms should be soaked for 24 hours and boiled twice for 30 minutes, changing the water;
  • it is not recommended to eat pig fat for people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and prone to allergic reactions;
  • mushrooms should not be given to children, pregnant women, lactating women, the elderly;
  • it is necessary to collect this species only in areas with good ecology, away from busy highways and industrial enterprises;
  • it is safer to eat young specimens.

How to distinguish between thin and fat pigs

The most common twin of the fat pig is the thin pig, or a barn belonging to the Pig family.

The mushroom has long been considered edible, and it was even noted that it has good taste. But gradually scientists came to the conclusion that it has pronounced toxic properties, which do not appear immediately, but some time after use. The suspicions were confirmed after severe fatal poisoning occurred. In 1944, the German mycologist Julius Schaeffer died of kidney failure, which developed two weeks after eating sigil. This case prompted scientists - mycologists to transfer the thin pig into the category of poisonous representatives prohibited for use. In our country, it was included in the list of poisonous and inedible mushrooms by the decree of the State Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision of the Russian Federation in 1993.

The pig is fat and thin have significant differences. You need to know them in order to avoid severe poisoning. The felt pig is characterized by a thick leg and a dry cap. The slender pig looks a little differently:

  • a cap of its olive shade, up to 20 cm in diameter, does not crack, after rain it becomes sticky, slimy;
  • the leg is thin, cylindrical, has a matte surface, lighter than the cap or the same color as it;
  • hymenophore - pseudo-lamellar, consists of folds of a brown shade, easily departs from the cap;
  • the pulp is pale yellow, often wormy, odorless and tasteless.

Important! Poisoning is caused by toxins that are not completely washed out by soaking and are not destroyed by heat treatment.

The barn contains the substance muscarine, an alkaloid of plant origin. When this poison enters the human body, the so-called muscarinic syndrome occurs. A person experiences increased salivation, vomiting and diarrhea begins, pupils narrow. In severe poisoning, collapse develops, pulmonary edema, which ends in death.

Eating pigs thin can cause a strong allergic reaction due to the presence of the so-called pig antigen in the mushroom. This substance is deposited on the membranes of red blood cells, provoking an autoimmune reaction in a person. The antibodies produced are aggressive and damage not only fungal antigens, but also the membranes of blood cells. The consequence of the destruction of red blood cells is the developed renal failure. The painful condition does not come immediately. A negative reaction is formed over time with frequent and abundant use of this representative.

The pig actively accumulates heavy metals and radioisotopes from the air and soil, and their content in mushrooms is many times higher. This can also cause severe poisoning, especially if the mushroom raw material was collected in an ecologically unfavorable area.


After thorough soaking and boiling, the plump pig can be eaten fried, salted or pickled (by hot pickling). Like any mushroom, it is rich in fiber, contains a minimum of calories, and is a source of vegetable protein, vitamins and minerals.

Content of valuable chemical elements in the composition of the product:

  1. Atromentin. This brown pigment is a natural broad-spectrum antibiotic that also prevents blood clots.
  2. Polyporic acid. It has an anti-tumor effect.
  3. Telephoric acid is a blue pigment. Used for dyeing woolen fabrics. Gives them a beautiful, blue-gray hue.

Fat pig poisoning

A fat pig is considered a conditionally edible mushroom, so it should be eaten with great care. The toxic properties of the plant are not well understood, but if the rules of collection and preparation are violated, they can manifest themselves, causing severe poisoning.

  1. Inadequate heat treatment will result in all the toxins remaining in the mushrooms and entering the body.
  2. Too frequent use can lead to the accumulation of toxic elements in the body, which do not completely disappear even with careful soaking and cooking of raw materials.
  3. Fat pigs have the ability to accumulate toxic substances from the environment. Specimens collected near the roadway show increased amounts of lead, cadmium and arsenic.

In case of poisoning, symptoms of damage to the gastrointestinal tract first of all develop: cutting pain in the epigastric region, vomiting, diarrhea. Then the composition of the blood is disturbed, the volume of urine excreted sharply in the patient, the level of hemoglobin rises. In severe cases, complications develop in the form of renal failure, acute respiratory failure, anaphylactic shock.


In the mushroom guides containing photos and descriptions of the thick pig, it is argued that you can collect and eat it if you do it with extreme caution. Some people have an individual intolerance to mushrooms, so you need to start using them with small portions, no more than once a day. They are safest in salted and pickled form, since salt and acetic acid to some extent dissolve heavy metal compounds and remove them into solution.

Watch the video: Slow-Roasted Pork Belly. Gordon Ramsay (December 2022).

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