june - november
Porcini mushrooms (Boletus edulis and related species) are undoubtedly the most famous and widespread of Italy’s mushrooms, and they are eaten throughout the world. The four best-known and most widely cultivated species (edulis, pinophilus, aestivalis, aereus) make it a highly versatile and commonly used mushroom. It can be steamed, fried, grilled, baked or even made into a velouté.
As with all mushrooms, the recommendation is to cook porcini before eating, even if they are often eaten raw in salads. They are best when bought fresh, but you can also easily find them frozen, dried and in oil.
Porcini are symbiotic mushrooms, meaning they rely on other living organisms to survive. They usually grow following heavy rainfall some time between the end of spring and the autumn.
They grow either in the roots of conifers (spruce, silver fir and pine) or broad-leaved trees (beech, chestnut and oak) and can be found in the forests on hills or mountains.
Porcini mushrooms have a cap that can be anywhere from beige to hazelnut, reddish to dark brown, with tubes on the hymenium which can be anything from creamy white to dark green, depending on the mushroom’s ripeness, and a thick, firm stipe with whitish flesh covered with its characteristic reticulate pattern.
Ideal for eating raw or cooked.