Rose's October Shop Watch: Dried Porcini Mushrooms
Fruittibosco dried porcini mushrooms
An autumn ingredient
When I lived in Milan, the poignant sadness at the end of summer was tempered by the arrival of the mushroom season (to be followed shortly after by the white truffle season!). Large headed porcini mushrooms with their chubby stems could be seen piled high in my local greengrocers, ready to be grilled, or chopped into a risotto or a pasta sauce.
Fortunately the Italians found a way of extending their season to all year round by drying them. On market stalls in Italy you can buying varying qualities of the dried mushrooms, ranging from the cheaper smaller ones which can be used in cooking, and the big (more expensive) ones to be breaded and fried (impanati).
I always go for the larger sized ones since the smaller ones can break easily and end up as bricioli (crumbs). I also try and buy a bigger bag of them for the same reason – so that they remain intact. I transfer them into a large glass jar to keep them fresh and I know that if I have these and a pack or tin of Carnaroli rice in my pantry I can always produce a risotto at a moment’s notice. Their deep earthy flavour also makes them good to use in pasta sauces and my favourite is to add them to the sauce for polpettini. They simply need soaking before cooking.
The Fruittibosco porcini from Camisa, the famous Italian shop which used to be in Soho and now online, are of exceptional quality being picked in the mountains around the village of Tarsogno, in the province of Parma, and sliced by hand before drying and packing. Although you can buy a 10g packet, which is perfect for one risotto, I suggest you buy the 50g or 100g packs for your store cupboard.
A perfect risotto
Fruittibosco porcini mushrooms
Camisa Online Deli:
Telephone: 01992 763076
Availability and price as at 30th September 2018