A cep is an edible fungus with a distinctive large bulbous stalk which is thought to resemble a tree trunk. It is one of the boletus family of fungi of which there are over 20 varieties. The underside of the boletus mushrooms look very different from the classic pinky mushroom coloured gills of th commercially grown mushrooms we mainly see in supermarkets. Boletus mushrooms have a structure of tiny tube like cells on the underside of the cap making the cep's whole edible cap very spongy. Ceps are best earen when young and should be wiped rather than washed as a result of their sponge-like properties. Thought to be at the peak of flavour in September they can be harvested throughout the Autumn. Young ceps can be eaten raw, for example sliced into salads, sautéed, used in soups and stews or dried for later use. Sometimes ceps are also preserved in oil.