MUSHROOM DISHES ARE A GOOD REASON TO LOVE AUTUMN
Autumn has arrived along with the mushroom picking season! As there are more than 10.000
species of fleshy fungi and about half of them are edible, of course they can be harvested all
year round. Either way the best season in Italy is definitively autumn, when you can find the
famed Porcino and the fabulous Galletto.
Also, the days from the end of September till the beginning of November are one of the prettiest
times of the year for colours and scents in Italian woods and forests. It’s here that you can spend
a day relaxing and searching for mushrooms!
In Italy there is a rich tradition of mushroom picking, (we call it “andare a funghi”) and
consequently there are plenty of recipes made with the savoury members of the fungi family.
Even if an Italian family will sometimes share their traditional recipes or cooking tips, a
mushroom picker would never reveal the place where he finds these delicious treasures of the
TOP FIVE MUSHROOMS IN ITALY
What is not a secret is that some mushrooms are more popular than others. Italians love all
mushrooms, as it can be seen by the several regional recipes made with many different
varieties, but some of the real favourites are just a few…
PORCINI – PORCINI MUSHROOM
The Boletus Edulis is the most famous among the group that goes under the name of “Porcini”,
for example the Boletus Aestivalis – Porcino estivo – that grows in the Appenini area mostly at
the beginning of summer, or the Boletus Aereus – Porcino nero – best known and appreciated in
central and southern Italy. Their flesh is white and thick with a woody flavour. They can be used
in several recipes: grilled and laid on steaks, deep fried, stirred with garlic or raw sliced in a
salad with parmesan cheese shavings and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Porcini mushroom can also
be dried: in this case they are perfect for a “risotto”.
GALLETTI – CHANTERELLES MUSHROOM
The Cantharellus Cibarius is known in Italy with several names: Gallinaccio, Gialletto, Finferlo.
With a color range from orange to cream, it’s among the richest sources of vitamin D known. The
Chanterelles mushrooms are flavoursome and are often used to give more flavour to other
mushroom based dishes.
CARDONCELLI – TRUMPET ROYALE MUSHROOM
The Pleurotus Eryngii is the most popular mushroom in the southern regions, Apulia, Basilicata,
Calabria, and also in Sardinia, where it grows in abundance. It can also be cultivated. It has a
meaty consistency that remains unchanged even after cooking and it can be enjoyed roasted,
deep fried, cooked in Olive Oil, parsley and garlic or in delicious pasta sauces.
TARTUFI – TRUFFLES
Yes, this is it. The truffle is a mushroom that grows underground. With its unique flavour, you
either love it or you don’t! The best truffles come from Piedmont, but in general these aromatic
members of the fungi family find the best soils to grow along the Apennines ridge, from
Lombardia to Campania and towards north east regions also in Veneto. It is said that the white
truffles are better than the black ones: there are different types of both with different qualities
and different prices! The Tuber Magnatum Pico, a white truffle from Alba (Piedmont) or
Acqualagna (Marche) is the most well-known worldwide and the most pricey as it’s very rare.
Needless to say it’s also one of the tastiest.