While fungi foraging is a popular Autumn/Winter activity, many of the special varieties of mushrooms are commercially unavailable in Australia. Fortunately, French and Italian producers have perfected the art of drying mushrooms, and this means we can enjoy them year round by adding texture, flavour and complexity to many dishes. The Essential Ingredient packages and sells a range of dried mushrooms and preserved truffle products.
Chanterelles (France) are shaped like a furled trumpet and can also be found in Italy, Poland and Germany. They have a toasted, spicy, nutty flavour with a hint of apricot. They go well with beef, offal, duck and can also be used in soups sauces and casseroles. Soak for 1 hour, though even with long cooking will retain a slightly chewy texture.
The morel is the most highly prized of mushrooms, beautiful in appearance and with a rich, smoky flavour perfect with chicken, fish or pasta. Its intensity, character and unique flavour is not lost in the drying process.
Shitake (Japan) has a distinctive aroma and meaty flavour and bares no resemblance to European varieties. The dominant flavour are perfect with soups, braises and of course rich and spicy Asian inspired dishes.
Porcini (Italy) closely related to the French cepes, is probably the best known and widely used in Europe, its intense meaty aroma makes it perfect for pasta and rice dishes. Soak for 30 minutes before use.
Bolet Jaunes (France) a member of the cepes family, readily available and relatively inexpensive, excellent for use in stocks and sauces or for intensifying the flavour of cultivated mushrooms. Soak for 20 minutes before use.
All these mushrooms are available at The Essential Ingredient Rozelle. For up-to-date availability please call our store on +612 9555 8300.