Definition of cep in US English:


(also cèpe)


  • An edible European and North American mushroom with a smooth brown cap, a stout white stalk, and pores rather than gills, growing in dry woodland and much sought after as a delicacy.

    Boletus edulis, family Boletaceae, class Basidiomycetes

    Also called king bolete, porcini
    • ‘Mr Gucci had the fillet of veal braised in brown chicken stock, sautéed ceps, baby spinach and truffle cream at £20.’
    • ‘An assembly of fresh wild mushrooms was heavily scented with dried ceps, the cheese had been employed with restraint, adding unctuousness to the sauce, and interesting secondary flavour.’
    • ‘Should ceps not be available, the chestnut mushroom - not a wild mushroom, but one that is available throughout the year - has a good nutty taste.’
    • ‘A pressé of chicken livers and foie gras was followed by a bowl of outstandingly smooth velouté of ceps with a poached quail's egg.’
    • ‘My favourite wild mushrooms are ceps and chanterelles or girolles.’
    • ‘It's just the tail end of the edible fungi season and Helen goes foraging with local hotelier Eric Hart looking for ceps, puffballs, winter chanterelles (known as yellowlegs), and blewits with their distinctive scent of Parma violets.’
    • ‘Back at Brandon Country Park, Jonathan lights the burner and rustles up a mushroom surprise: we've got ceps, flowery orange chanterelles, grey-brown funnel caps and a big, fat, blood-red crab russula.’
    • ‘Like other boletus mushrooms, ceps are liable to infestation by larval insects.’
    • ‘Little's silken wild mushroom ravioli reeked wonderfully of ceps - Antonio Carluccio would heartily approve.’
    • ‘From there on, I'd watch and help her turn it into all sorts of dishes - tortelli filled with pumpkin, ravioli of spinach, ricotta and Parmesan cheese, tagliatelle with dried ceps or porcini, anolini filled with braised beef and veal.’
    • ‘My lasagne of rabbit with roasted ceps and thyme velouté may not be a staple in any part of the France I know, but it was a superb innovation, one of the best beginnings to a meal that I've had for a long time.’
    • ‘Back at the Muir of Dinett near Loch Kinord, still faced with a lack of chanterelles and ceps, Helen met Ann Miller who has found a unique way cultivating mushrooms.’
    • ‘But even when gastronomic curiosity overcomes fear, it can be disconcerting to discover that the most highly prized and delicious ones (the morel, the cep and the chanterelle, for example) have poisonous lookalikes.’
    • ‘It started out well, with a soft-boiled egg with a morel cream and truffle mouillettes (toasted fingers of bread to dip into the egg), and then a lobster tempura on a bed of ceps, with a velouté de cèpe poured all around.’
    • ‘We always add some fresh mushrooms to extend the dried ceps.’
    • ‘We spread out in a ragged line and look for apricot-coloured, trumpet-shaped chantarelles, or stout, meaty ceps, or black, curled horn of plenty.’
    • ‘When fresh ceps are not in season, or simply for a cheaper option, use thinly sliced, large portobello mushrooms and enhance the flavour with a 10g pack of dried porcini mushrooms.’
    • ‘I found the white onion risotto with ceps unpalatably nutty, but that is a personal thing.’
    • ‘Wild ceps and chanterelles appear in abundance all over Scotland between August and October if the weather conditions are right, which they certainly are at the moment.’
    • ‘It turns out we're lucky to find them: ceps usually prefer the ancient woodlands of Scotland or the New Forest to the comparatively recent growth of Thetford.’


Mid 19th century: from French cèpe, from Gascon cep ‘tree trunk, mushroom’, from Latin cippus ‘stake’.