Slightly reddish-brown in color, porcini are one of the most prized wild mushrooms, sought out for their smooth texture and aromatic, woodsy flavor. They’re popular in Italy, as well as in France, where they’re called cèpes. Fresh porcinis aren’t as easy to locate in the United States, but dried ones are easily reconstituted by soaking in hot water. Prized in Italy, these have a brief summer season in the East and pop up in the spring and fall on the West Coast.
It’s a meaty mushroom similar to the portobello, the porcini is often used in Italian cuisine. It’s slightly nutty and creamy and has an aroma that has been likened to sourdough. Light brown in color, porcinis can range from one inch to 10 inches across. They’re sold fresh, dried and canned. If you’re using dried porcinis, soak them in hot water for at least 15 minutes before cooking with them