The many fabulous funghi in Italian delicatessens
When you head to delicatessens like Eataly during mushroom season, you’ll find baskets crammed with funghi. Here’s a quick run down of the types you’ll be most likely to encounter:
- Finferli – Also known in English-speaking countries as Chantarelle mushrooms, Finferli are orange coloured and have a funnel-like shape, with ridges underneath the cap. With its peppery flavour, it’s one of the most delicious mushrooms around.
- Ovoli – Also called “Caesar’s mushroom” because of its popularity among Roman emperors, ovoli are so-named because of their resemblance to an egg during the early stages of their growth. They are slightly sweet when fresh.
- Champignon – Probably more famous as Portobello mushrooms, champignons can be white or brown and are easily farmed, so they can be found in dishes across the world. In Italy, they are a popular way to add some depth to pasta sauces.
- Porcini – As we’ve mentioned, porcini are picked all over Italy and are often dried and chopped into sauces. However, they can also be sliced and fried when fresh.
- Chiodini – Shaped a little like nails, chiodini need to be carefully cooked to remove their toxins. But, after that, they are a wonderful addition to pasta or risottos.
- Pioppini – Commonly used in Italy’s many varieties of pasta con funghi, pioppini are thin, with brown caps and are usually bought in connected clusters. Again, they add richness and depth, with their enticing peppery taste.