It is porcini season! Porcini’s abound here in the Piacenza region. In our kitchen, they are overtaking everything. They are featured on the menu in many forms, porcini sformato with crispy chiodini mushrooms and local sausage, insalata di porcini, a trio of porcini breaded, fried and raw, and a tagliolini with porcini. We eat porcini at many staff meals, I try to eat as many as I can before I have to pay astronomical Canadian prices for them next year.
Around here, porcini sellers just seem to show up with crates and baskets full of porcini. They are quite the bunch of characters. One lady, tanned and always smoking a cigarette, stays for at least an hour when she delivers the porcinis. She caresses them and talks about how beautiful they are. And they are. Such beautiful mushrooms. Today, an elderly couple came in armed with straw baskets of porcini. Our walk-in fridge is already stockpiled to the tilt, but the Chef bought a few more kilos anyhow. I am not sure if she needs them or if she likes to buy from everyone. Either way, the fridge, usually divided into fruit on one side and vegetables on the other, is porcini on all sides. Unlike the tomato, I do not believe porcinis can be characterized as fruit. Alas. Allora.
Porcini’s on the floor, on the shelves, under fruit, over veg. Everywhere.