The farmer was mostly toothless, his skin pruned from the sun, the dirt of his fields permanent planted in the crevices of his hands.
His Piedmontese dialect was strong, and my grasp of classic Italian embarrassingly weak. But he was kind, proud to make it understood that his apples and onions were grown with only sunshine, rain and earth. Excitedly, he pointed to several ginormous clumps of unrecognizable mushrooms with bluish centers piled in an old wooden wine crate, their thick, fused stems spotted with the wet soils of his orchards; fungi bouquets gifted from the rains of autumn and found blossoming at the base of Piedmont’s ubiquitous hazelnut tree. The Clitocybula familia mushroom grows in groups or in keeping with the culture, en familia. The old man explained they’re best prepared simply with olive oil and salt and cooked over the fire, his dirty hands making flipping motions to emphasize technique.
I bought them all.
#italy #piedmont #mushrooms (at Piazza di Dogliani.)