I love porcini mushrooms. I order them in Italy whenever I can. The season is really in full swing in the fall, but you may see them available in May. On our recent trip my friend A. ordered a steak with porcini and although the steak looked delicious, all I was interested in was tasting were the mushrooms. I wish I had ordered that entree.
Some years back it was fall and J. and I were in a restaurant in Rome. After we had placed our order, we asked if they had any fresh porcini. They replied yes and proceeded to bring us a huge platter of gorgeous mushrooms sauteed in olive oil. Once this was placed before us we forgot all about the rest of our food. I savored every bite, sopping up the juices on the plate with a crust of bread and wondered why we couldn’t get fresh porcini at home.
Hence the reason for this post. A few weeks ago I was at my weekly farmers’ market and spied what I thought might be porcini at the booth of the mushroom vendor. He was nowhere to be seen and I forgot to go back before I left the market. I’ve been checking ever since then, but haven’t seen anything that resembled porcini, until this past Saturday. There they were-two small baskets. Each held a single medium sized mushroom. I was fairly certain they were porcini and decided I would break the bank and buy them. The vendor was chatting with a few customers and I as I waited patiently I was dreaming about having these mushrooms with our dinner.
Finally it was my turn and my thoughts were confirmed. Yes, the two baskets held porcini. I could hardly contain my excitement-fresh porcini! Then, I asked the price. “30 dollars” he replied. I stammered “you mean $30 a pound?” and he answered “no, a basket”. Yes, he meant $30 per mushroom-a medium sized mushroom at that! I walked away wondering if there was anyone who would buy them…
I’ll just wait for Italy in October Cook With Porcini Girl In Italy-Autumn In Tuscany.