Pictured above is Luca’s Dad, Franco with his harvest of the day (our dinner tonight!) It’s mushroom season here in Piedmont and we’re lucky enough to have an expert scavenger in the family. Not to brag or anything, but these were the most flavorful mushrooms I’ve ever eaten. They were so freaking good (of the porcini variety). We’ve actually been eating them all week (apparently when the mushrooms are out, they’re OUT). On Monday with steak, on Tuesday in Ratatouille, and tonight baked in the oven with sliced potates, onions and rustic pancetta. Too bad for you that Internet isn’t more multi-sensorial, or I’d send you all a whiff and a taste. You’ll just have to use your imagination (or come visit!).
The area we live in is actually internationally reknowned for it’s mushrooms – we’re five minutes outside of Alba in the Langhe region, which is the White Truffle Capital of the World. It’s always pretty easy to get truffles around here in season – they’re still expensive, but in these parts there are no added shipping fees, so that helps. There are actually two truffle seasons – Fall is the more important White Truffle season (late September through mid December) while Summer is the Black Truffle season. Experts say that the white truffles are more fragrant and flavorful, but we’ve had some extremely awesome black truffles that were much better than many of the more expensive white truffles.
Here’s Franco in October of 2005 with the fruits of a successful mushroom scavenge: