Italian Food Explained


Cardoncelli – King oyster mushrooms


Typical of the woods of Murge, so named because they grow near wild thistles (cardo in Italian) and are celebrated each year in a special regional fair held between Gravina and Altamura.

Girole – chanterelle – egg mushroom


Usually referred to by their French name Chanterelle.   Chanterelles are a whole family of mushrooms, most of which are quite choice, but the name is most often applied to the golden chanterelle = yellow chanterelle.  These yellow mushrooms are highly prized for their exquisite flavor, color, and texture.   Other tasty chanterelle varieties include the yellow foot chanterelle, which is less meaty and less flavorful than other varieties, the black trumpet mushroom, and the white chanterelle, which is similar to the golden chanterelle, but lighter in color.  Fresh chanterelles are best; dried or canned chanterelles are less flavorful and tend to have a rubbery texture.   Substitutes:  hedgehog mushroom OR white mushroom OR oyster mushroom OR ear mushroom OR morel   

Morchella  – morel


Morels are highly prized for their rich, earthy flavor, and also because their caps are hollow, which allows them to be stuffed.   Dried morels are very flavourful, and they’re an excellent substitute for fresh in sauces and stews.   Substitutes:  shiitake OR chanterelles  

Pioppini – Pioppino


These grow on trees.  They’re very tasty, with a peppery flavor.

Porcini – porcino – cepe – cep – bolete – king bolete – Boletus edulis


 Porcini mushrooms are well appreciated in Europe for their meaty texture and interesting flavor.  If you can find them fresh, pick the largest caps you can find (or afford).  Just wipe them clean before using; if you wash them, they’ll soak up the water like a sponge.  Dried porcini are also excellent.  Substitutes:  hedgehog OR chanterelle (fruitier flavor) OR portobello OR oyster mushrooms OR truffles


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