Porcini mushrooms, scientifically known as boletus edulis, are a delicious variety of wild edible fungi that are prized in culinary circles across the globe.
They are native to Europe and can also be found in parts of Asia and North America. The name "porcini" is Italian, and it translates to "piglets," as these mushrooms are often found near oak and chestnut trees, which are favourite spots for foraging pigs.
In France they are known as ceps, in Britain as Penny buns, and in Germany as Steinpilz or “stone mushrooms” due to their firm texture.
Porcini mushrooms are renowned for their nutty and earthy flavour, which intensifies when dried. Dried porcini mushrooms are a valuable pantry staple as they can be rehydrated and used year-round.
The rich liquid produced during rehydration is often used as a base for soups and sauces, further enhancing the depth of umami.