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Mushrooms, a pleasure to share

To fully enjoy mushrooms, pick them carefully, and eat them in quantity!

Mushrooms are not only good to eat, but they also provide a very enjoyable excuse to spend a weekend in the woods with friends.

When the leaves start to yellow it’s time to go mushrooming, a practice that needs to be done carefully but that provides great satisfaction. However, it is always paramount to seek expert advice before consuming your pick, because while mushrooms are an extraordinary raw material, biting into the wrong one can be very dangerous.

The best known in Italy are: 

Porcini

Boletus edulis, boletus aereus, boletus aestivalis, boletus pinicola are very valuable mushrooms, varying in size, with caps ranging from 5 to 30 cm in diameter. They have a tubular part below the cap, which varies in colour according to the age of the mushroom. The flesh should be firm and white. They are excellent in all mushroom based preparations. For example, porcini alla milanese (milan-style porcini) is a dish that wins over every palate.

Cardoncelli

Pleurotus eryngii are highly prized mushrooms, with caps ranging from 4 to 15 cm and light grey gills. The flesh is white and very firm. They are excellent in all recipes thanks to their consistency, which remains almost unchanged after cooking.

Oyster Mushrooms

Pleurotus ostreatus: very common mushrooms with rather fleshy caps, compact and firm stems, and thick pale gills. Also, excellent cooked in many ways, always bearing in mind that the meatiness of the caps is to be preferred to the woodiness of the stem.

Chanterelles

Cantharellus cibarius: a very common variety, easy to find in Italian woods and easily recognisable thanks to their funnel shape and yellow-orange colour. Perfect in soups or in preparations that require long cooking times.

Pioppini

Agrocybe aegerita: one of the most popular and tasty qualities of cultivated mushrooms, with a tall stem and a fleshy, compact cap. Excellent with oil garlic and parsley or sautéed, as well as in a soup. Blanch them before cooking, it will reduce their stickiness and fibrousness. Quite like the pioppini are the Chiodini (armillariella mellea) which, instead of being cultivated, grow wild on tree stumps and trunks. Even with chiodini, the end of the stem is rather woody and they too require preliminary bleaching.

Champignons and Portobellos

Agaricus bisporus albidus: the most common cultivated mushroom is available in different sizes, with the characteristic white or slightly golden cap. Depending on their size, one can decide how to cook them; the smaller they are, the more suitable they are for short cooking times.

Portobello mushrooms (agaricus bisporus avellaneus): from the same family as the more famous champignons, have larger, brown caps. The stems are rather woody, best used for a mushroom broth; the firm caps are very tasty, perfect for cooking alla genovese for instance.

Shiitake

Lentinula edodes: these are among the most widely used mushrooms in the world, also thanks to their medicinal properties studied in Chinese medicine. In addition to the recipes of oriental culture, their very pleasant taste makes them suitable for many types of cooking, either trifoliated or sautéed, in a soup or omelette… the choice is up to you.

How to choose them

Mushrooms should be firm and fleshy, with the caps firmly attached to the stem.
There should be no cracks or uneven colour spots

How to store them

After buying, clean immediately the bottom parts removing soil and the woody parts.
Place the mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge and use them as soon as possible.

No waste

Both the bottom part and the woody parts of the mushrooms can be used to cook a delicious mushroom broth.

Mushroom risotto
Omelette with mushrooms
Porcini Mushrooms ‘alla milanese’ (in the Milanese style)
Porcini caps ‘alla genovese’ (in the Genoese style)
Mushroom soup
Sautéed mushrooms with butter
‘Trifolati’ mushrooms with extra virgin olive oil
Cleaning mushrooms
Mushroom stock
Blanching
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