The porcini mushroom is a staple—both in its fresh and dried state--in many cuisines from all over the world. In California, we are lucky enough to have two fruiting seasons for these bulbous mushrooms, the first in May and June, and the second in late-November through December. With their heartier texture and rich flavor, dried porcini are perfect for enhancing everything from vegetable stock and sauces, to soups and stews. Or, grind dried porcini in a spice grinder to create an umami-packed powder ideal for seasoning heartier meats such as beef and venison.
About the Producer: In 1979, Connie Green, founder of Wine Forest Wild Foods, walked into one of the most well-known kitchens in the Bay Area and presented the chef with pristine chanterelle mushrooms that she had just foraged herself. This famous chef was convinced that mushrooms like that only came from Europe, and although Connie’s gorgeous fungi didn’t excite this chef, they didn’t go unnoticed. She says she owes quite a bit of her success to the dishwashers working in that and other restaurants. Many of the mushrooms that she was foraging were also native to the mountains of Mexico, and these dishwashers knew the value of her harvest of chanterelles, morels and porcini. It was with their help that her mushrooms started to capture the attention of chefs. Almost 35 years later, Connie’s mushrooms are being served in some of California’s finest restaurants from The French Laundry in Yountville, to The Slanted Door and Gary Danko in San Francisco.