That day, we looked for prataioli, boleti pinophili and again gambe secche. And after hours of collecting, chatting, drinking homemade limoncello at the uncle's house, I came home with this bag in my cold hands: 1,5 kg!
Collecting food yourself is exciting: contrary to growing food in a garden (which I'd like to start next year), which entails the slow process of seeing seeds sprout and plants shooting up in the air, there is the fast excitement of finding the things you are looking for. You start recognizing the places in the grass where boleti are hiding, and the ring shape that gambe secche make. There is some greed in it, but fortunately the quite early sunset here in the south of Europe puts this to an end. It is slow, though, and collecting is not the end, for this 1,5 kilo worth of edibles needs to be cleaned before consumption. Removing snails, legs, slime and grass, meanwhile pondering over in which way they will end up on the plate.
After cleaning and sorting:
Now, the question is: what to do with this abundance? Here are some answers.
- went into a salad (the fresh pink ones)
- were chopped finely into a thick soup with nothing else but butter, flour, pepper, salt and stock. (The soup was described 'Nordic'. I took it as a compliment.)
The boletus pinophilus is not very valued by Italians as it is a very watered down, C-class 'version' of the famous porcino, still I liked it:
- 'classic Italian style' in red wine, garlic and peperoncino and eaten on fire-roasted bread.
The gambe secche
- were eaten with linguine
- were put to dry.
Finally, all leftovers and also results of another hunt were made into risotto.
Here is a picture which shows some kitchen marvels and my excellent computer skills:
And as winter is coming, I will spend some more time in Scurcolan fields armed with nothing but a knife and a plastic bag....