In the vast culinary world of edible mushrooms the porcini (piglet) mushroom is the king. The Boletus edulis, or Cep is the ruling class of the delicious funghi. The soft meaty texture of porcini with its earthy and somewhat nutty flavour is unequalled among mushrooms and lends itself to countless dishes.
Porcini mushrooms may grow a rather large cap, up to 12 inches in diameter. It's usually brown or reddish-brown with a slightly sticky texture the stalk is usually short and round.
Our Porcini are classified as 'First Extra Quality' and come from the uncontaminated Sila National Park in Calabria. They are hand picked between August and October and are then dried naturally in the sun. Just open the bag and marvel at the amazingly strong, heady aroma - this is the first sign of their quality. Then take a look at the large, whole pieces, not broken or flaky. They are full of flesh and destined to double their size in water.
Dried porcini are a great substitute to fresh as they have an amazingly strong and concentrated mushroom aroma adding flavour and depth to so many dishes. They are fabulous in soups, stews, sauces and pies and of course perfect for risotto ai funghi porcini and many other risottos. They are delicious lying on top of a thick succulent fillet of steak or chicken and very much at home in all kinds of pasta dishes. They are also full of protein and make a great meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.
How to prepare dried porcini mushrooms...
To prepare dried porcini soak them in just warm water to cover for 20 minutes or until they've expanded. Drain them and conserve the liquid. They're now ready for use in the recipe; if the recipe calls for liquid as well, filter the water they were soaked in and add it too -- you'll get lots more concentrated flavour. Sautée in olive oil, fry them in butter or add to a casserole for that inimitable nutty, woody taste.
Porcini mushrooms (Boletus Edulis)
Our producer - Barrese for Vorrei
Based in the beautiful mountain resort of Camigliatello, in the heart of the Sila National Park, Barrese is one of the best-known local, family businesses. Established in 1929 by Alfonso Barrese, the company quickly became known for selecting the best typical, local ingredients for their products, for their authentic flavours and superior quality. All of their products are made without artificial preservatives, colourants or flavours.
Their product range reflects the history and traditions of this beautiful corner of the Calabria region and includes superior quality Porcini mushrooms, said to be the best in the world.