There’s more than porcini
Their official name is Craterellus cornucopioides. Those hunting for them call them the trumpets of the dead, while cooks call them the poor man’s truffle.
We’re talking about a mushroom, as black as Tolkien’s Mirkwood, which doesn’t look especially appealing, but is especially sought after. They’re found in the forest around Gambassi from October to December, and those who know them don’t miss the chance to delight in them.
Not only are they a joy to taste, lightly cooked in a pan with olive oil, garlic and parsley, but if you dry them (in the oven at a low temperature) and grind them, they’re a perfect solution when you want something good for lunch but your fridge is empty: you just need some spaghetti, a little olive oil and a dash of trumpets of the dead to feel like a king!
Mushroom hunting with Arcangela
Around here, going mushroom hunting is a vocation and a passion passed down from grandparent to grandchild; the forest is full of them, everyone has their own secret spots, and don’t think anyone will ever tell you theirs!
This is why we follow Signora Arcangela, who grew up in the oak groves with her woodsman father. She’s a magician both in the kitchen and on the mushroom-hunting trail. Between May – the time for tasting, as the proverb says – and December, she knows when and where to find them. She calls them by their local names: penneggiole, cimbalo imperiale, nuvoloso, ditole, finferli, lardaiolo bianco and lardaiolo rosso.
Then she cooks them, on the grill or in the frying pan, where she lightly fries them with garlic, olive oil, chili pepper and a few fresh cherry tomatoes at the end, the last ones remaining in the most sunny vegetable gardens (it’s better to not be in a hurry when cooking mushrooms, which need at least 20 minutes at a low temperature).
We recommend visiting us in the autumn, when the forest changes colour, leaves cover the paths, and the air is full of that earthy smell that forebodes winter hibernation. We invite you to come walk with us for some risk-free mushroom hunting, and to eat them in a warm kitchen as if you were at home with friends!