Mushroom Hunting: Italy

October 20, 2015

Who woke up at the crack of dawn to hunt for mushrooms with her boyfriend? I did! Not magical mushrooms. Porcini mushrooms. They have a meat-like texture and taste slightly nutty. They can be used for pasta, risotto, salads or infused in olive oil. It is pretty damn good.

Among my boyfriend's many hobbies, hunting for shrooms* is at the top of his list. Porcini is the best among edible mushrooms. I was totally not a mushroom person, but after meeting my boyfriend, I am a believer. My boyfriend is SO into hunting for Porcini mushrooms. It is a next level hobby. He goes into the mountain for hours in search of them by himself or with his friends. He loves the mountain and he has been hunting for mushrooms since he was a child with his dad. I am happy I had an expert to show me the ropes and that God was on was my side during this little adventure! I wanted to kill him (not literally) in the mountain because I didn't realize it was a sport. 

So happy! Hahaha
My boyfriend is Italian and I am Jamaican, so we were raised totally differently. He has been going to the mountain for mushrooms his whole life. I am a country girl, but I was never a super outdoorsy person when I was younger. Now that I am older, wiser and more adventurous- I love it. My plan was to prance (ever so lightly) in the mountain because I didn't pack anything for hiking. I was falling everywhere. My sneakers could not keep me up :( My ass was hurting me so bad. He said it was a small mountain, but his small and my small are totally different. Hiking up a mountain was not part of my plan, but I wanted to learn about his hobby/passion. It was so much fun until I fell and got a very small scrape on my hand. My 'big' fall came when we went up a super steep part of the mountain, FOR MUSHROOMS!! Hahaha, my boyfriend yelled out from a distance, "Come on, you are from Jamaica." He thinks because I am from Jamaica, that I loved going to the mountain and falling on my ass and stepping in animal poop. Can't even remember what kind of animal poop it was...

We had to walk around and search for mushrooms, up and down the mountain. I got really into it because it was super competitive. We saw people trying to pass us up to get to the mushrooms before us, so we had to hurry. It was quite the workout. We were not able to find a ton because depending on the weather the mushrooms will either grow too early in the summer or too late in the fall. We managed to find some good ones and we were able to laugh about me falling down and it was truly a great experience to have in Italy. Thankfully my bf is a proper mountain creature :) I checked hunting for mushroom off my bucket list ✔︎.

Where to Find Porcini Mushrooms?

If you make it to Northern Italy, YOU too can go hunting for mushrooms. Many places are super strict about the quantity each person is allowed to take because Porcini mushrooms are usually in national parks. Only 3-5 kgs per person. We went to Riserva Naturale Valle di Sant'Antonio- Natural Reserve Valley of Sant'Antonio. This is a smaller area with some mushrooms, but Emilia Romagna, Abruzzo, Trentino-Alto Adige and Umbria are the best place to find the best Porcini mushrooms. Hope I get to do this next year again because I will be better prepare next time :))

Happy hunting and I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading this post and  please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Lxxx

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