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Cortinarius caperatus, commonly known as the gypsy mushroom, is a highly esteemed edible mushroom of the genus Cortinarius found in northern regions of Europe and North America. It was known as Rozites caperata for many years, before genetic studies revealed it lay within the large genus Cortinarius. The ochre-coloured fruiting bodies appear in autumn in coniferous and beech woods, as well as heathlands in late summer and autumn. The gills are free and clay-coloured and the smell and taste mild. Although mild-tasting and highly regarded, the gypsy mushroom is often infested with maggots.
Cortinarius caperatus has a buff to brownish-ochre cap 5–10 cm (2–4 in) diameter, which is covered with whitish fibres. The surface has a wrinkled and furrowed texture. It may have a lilac tinge when young. It is convex initially before expanding and flattening with a boss in the centre. The stipe is 4–7 cm (1.6–2.6 in) high and 1–1.5 cm (0.4–0.6 in) thick and slightly swollen at the base, and is whitish with a whitish ring, which is initially attached to the cap. The free gills, are clay-coloured; the spores give an ochre-brown spore print. The warty almond-shaped spores measure 10–13 × 8–9 µm. The flesh is cream-coloured and the taste mild. It can have a faintly bitter taste if eaten raw, but pleasant nutty flavor when cooked.
Cortinarius caperatus is a highly regarded edible mushroom with a mild flavour. It is said to mix well with stronger-flavoured fungi such as chanterelles, boletes, brittlegills or milk-caps.However, picked mushrooms are often infested with maggots. Mycologist David Arora recommends discarding the tough stipes. It can be dried for later use readily. It is sold commercially in Finland