The area surrounding Villa Tre Angeli is indeed a land rich in many natural treasures, one of which, as already mentioned in a previous post, are the wonderful mushrooms which grow here. The famous porcino mushroom has recently obtained the most honourable IGP (Indicazione geografica protetta) certification, which makes it a very prestigious and unique product of our mountains; a product which, although also found in other places, in our valley takes on an unmistakable aroma and flavour which depends mainly on the kind of soil and climate only we have.
Hoards of “mushroom tourists” crowd the highway during the picking season – end of August, September and October – spilling out into our woods like ants in the hope of finding the ultimate prize, taking photos with which to amaze friends and family at home.
Then, of course, there are all the locals who make a partial living on the sale of these mushrooms, those whose families have been searching for and picking them for generations, and are familiar with all the hidden places where they can be almost certain to find some – they will defend their secrets with their lives – well almost! – and will go to great lengths to keep people away from their “fungine”, hidden spots where the mushrooms keep dropping their spores and continue to reproduce.
In this particular moment, mushroom searchers are craving rain, because this is the season in which another, equally prestigious kind can be found – if the weather is right! This is the “prugnolo”, also called “spinarolo”, and one of the most delicious dishes you can find on the menu of a restaurant in the area in this period is “tagliatelle con sugo ai funghi prugnoli”, pasta served with a beautiful sauce, made with these mushrooms. There is certainly no abundance of prugnoli, or perhaps they are simply more difficult to spy if one does not have an expert eye, and due to this reason, they are a little more expensive but well worth trying.