Fresh Porcini in Italy and Seattle!

Porcini at Cafe Flora in Seattle
Porcini at Cafe Flora in Seattle

Depending on where you are in the world, it is fresh Porcini (aka Cepes) mushroom season. The picture above is of 21 pounds of these beauties that were delivered to Cafe Flora the other day. I couldn’t stop looking at them. They were so freshly picked that the gills were practically glowing olive green. The cell phone picture doesn’t really capture it, but those puppies were around 10" tall!

Below you see the same mushrooms at the market in Florence, Italy from the end of September. It was just the early part of the season there and every good restaurant was featuring them in specials. I had them on pasta, pizza, risotto, and broiled in a tin foil packet with butter and white beans at Cibreo, a spectacular Florentine establishment. The flavor surprised me, it is mild compared to the intense musky flavor of the dried ones I use to make broth the rest of the year.

Have you seen these in your area? What do you like to do with them? What is the best way to really feature their unique qualities?

Porcini at the market in Florence, Italy
Porcini at the market in Florence, Italy

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 in Seattle, Travel.

4 Responses to “Fresh Porcini in Italy and Seattle!”

  1. Reply
    November 3, 2007 at 12:07 am #

    I brought back a couple from Rome, and made a white lasagna, but had to fill in with dried when one of the mushrooms didn’t make it.

    It’s a little daunting, having such a huge mushroom to work with, but it cooks down quite a bit.

  2. Reply
    December 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks for the post! Is there a place I can order fresh domestic (to USA) porcini mushroom? Or rather imported fresh?


    Gabi @

  3. Reply
    Melek Ozgur - Turkey
    October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    we have these fungi in our forest tones of them ! we have a better and more tasty one and this one is not so favorable.Lactarius salmonicolor is the most favorable one in most of my country. I am so surprised seeing this mushroom classified as second class taste with 1000 eur price tag !

  4. Reply
    October 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    Melek–given European numerical preferences (the comma is used where the US uses a decimal point), I suspect that was 10 euros, not 1000 Euros.

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