In the culinary world of edible mushrooms, Piglets or Porcini are the ruling class of mushrooms. Porcini variety can be found the world over, European and American consumers utilize them in all their forms.
Porcini are characterized by a soft and meaty white body that does not change color after it is cut. They have the unique light colored hat, that when porcini gets older turns it in a darker color. All porcini are characterized by a big, round and flashy cap supported by a short round stalk.
There are several different type of porcini mushrooms: Porcino D’Autunno, the most sought; Porcino Nero with dark hats, Porcino D’Estate found in summer and Porcino del Freddo found in colder areas.
Here, three most used types of porcini mushrooms:
In Italy, fresh porcini mushrooms are called the steak of poor and they are served grilled with olive oil and parsley. Fresh Porcini are also excellent fried or stewed with tomatoes or as base of pasta sauce and bruschetta topping.
Porcini under Oil
When porcini are not ideal for eating fresh, they are jarred or canned in olive oil. For example, Porcino Nero, with dark hat, is ideal for preserving. Porcini under oil are very versatile in several recipes and can replace the fresh ones. When you decided for Porcini jarred, choose extra virgin olive oil and make sure that the jar was not exposed to too much light.
Dried Porcini are the most common mushrooms sold in supermarkets. They have a concentrated flavor and aroma that is excellent in risotto, soups and sauces. To cook dried porcini, cover them in boiling water and let them steep until they are reconstituted, then dray them. Dried porcini have a very strong aroma, which should greet you once opening the pack, if the mushrooms have no smell, they have no flavor either. Dried porcini are not versatile as fresh mushrooms, but that is not to say they are bad, their flavor can add a punch to many recipes.
Try porcini mushrooms fresh or fried paired with a glass of Italian fresh and young white wine.
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