What is 'Confit cooking'?
As a cooking term confit describes the process through which food is cooked in oil at a lower temperature (it remains stable at 80°C through the entire process). Acting like a barrier, oil prevent the leak of liquids during the cooking process while keeping the food taste safe. As opposed to deep frying process, confit cooking prevents the production of harmful substances.
How to use confit cooked mushrooms
Porcino mushrooms cooked through the confit procedure can be reheated and directly used as starter, side dish and in multiple ways, including pasta and meat. It is a versatile and simple product, it is not seasoned, and it can be cooked until creamy (the Italian process is called ''mantecare''), garnished and perfumed with herbs and spices depending on your recipe or personal tastes.
Are they cultivated?
Porcino mushrooms are always harvested in woods, as they cannot be cultivated.
As it happens with other species that already exist in nature (Ovoli, Finferli etc.),
when referring to porcino mushrooms we talk about 'Symbiosis' and 'Mycorrhiza' (from the Greek terms mykós, "fungus", and riza, "root");
in fact, their life conditions are complex to such an extent that they cannot be reproduced outside their normal biological context,
so that they only exist in nature.
Larvae in mushrooms
The presence of larvae of insects of the order of Diptera in porcino mushrooms is a common and inevitable event, as they naturally grow in their biological context and they are manually harvested in woods. Harvests of porcino mushrooms with no larvae simply do not exist; what changes is the regularity, quantity and visibility.
Harvesters have always considered Fresh porcino mushrooms as edible, even when with larvae that are evident and visible to the naked eye. There is no Law forbidding the harvest of porcino mushrooms, as they are harmless to consumers.
The area where the harvest takes place does not entail substantial differences, as opposed to the weather trend that can affect the amount of diptera in mushrooms, while there is no mutual relation between diptera and ripening phase: in some cases young specimens can contain greater amounts of larvae than ripe ones.
There is no selective process that can avoid the presence of larvae, when they are not visible to the naked eye.
Are they harmless? May I find a poisonous one?
Our mushrooms have been known for centuries and they are served in many restaurants all over the world. We can distinguish edible species from poisonous ones through any production stage, from harvest to packaging, just as gardeners can distinguish tomatoes from peppers.
In particular, porcino mushrooms belong to a family that is characterized by developing their spores in small pores instead of gills and they cannot be confused with harmful species.
We constantly make sure that an authorized mycologist certifies our lots of mushrooms and that our employees training is always up-to-date. Please not that some people suffer from mushrooms intolerance; if it is your first time, please consume them in moderation.
Is it a seasonal food?
As opposed to cultivated mushrooms, that can be found 365 days a year due to Controlled-environment agriculture, wild mushroom is a seasonal food whose availability depend on elevation and country of origin. Although even italian farmers can harvest this kind of product almost 365 days a year by easily moving from the Alps to the Mediterranean region, porcino mushroom is not considered a seasonal food today due to the modern conservation techniques. Today this kind of mushrooms can be found in all restaurant menu during all seasons, while in the past they were considered an autumn food.
Which is their origin?
The harvest takes place in North-East Europe woods and mountains. Depending on the season, it takes place in broadleaf or coniferous woodland, by respectively interesting oak, chestnut and beech trees or firs and pines.
Can we consider them a food?
Generally speaking, mushrooms contain vitamin B, minerals and a low fats content; they are high in fibres and antioxidants. Anyway, common and set phrases such as ''mushrooms are not food'' or even ''all mushrooms are poisonous'' are incorrect. Their protein content is considerable and - apart from trace elements - the dietary values are notable. However, due to a particular and indigestible substance present on mushrooms cell walls, called 'chitin', please avoid excessive consumption.
Are they gluten free and good for vegans?
Apart from law definitions, wild mushrooms are naturally gluten free and good for people suffering from celiac disease. They are also good for vegans and they are naturally biological. So as opposed to what happens with labeling for which it is necessary to fulfill specific duties, mushrooms coming from forest and woodland ecosystem do not go through any mechanical nor artificial treatment. In fact, confit cooking only include the use of salt and oil.
How can I preserve them? For how long?
Confit cooked porcino mushrooms can be preserved for a long time in their original package (until the expiring date, which is indicated on the package itself). Please store in a cool and dry place, far from heat sources. Once the package is opened, keep them at a 4°C temperature and consume them within no more than 4 days.