Porcini is the Italian name for Boletus edulis, a wild mushroom that is fast gaining popularity in New Zealand particularly in the South Island where it grows well and rapidly. These mushrooms are known as Boletus mushrooms (which to be fair is not exclusive to that of Porcini)
Dried porcini mushrooms or powder is readily available at boutique food stores and online, and they are among the most commercialized wild mushrooms in the world. Porcini possess a nutty, earthy character that creates a complex and enchanting flavor profile.The Japanese describe this as unami, due to the English not comprising on a word to describe the taste effectively.
Porcini mushroom is one of the finest wild culinary mushrooms on the market, and is by far the most coveted found in the wild. They are high maintenance in the kitchen and require special preparation; due to their high moisture content, they need to be treated with dignity rather than impunity, otherwise you run the risk of eating porcini that are soggy, slimy, or even leathery. Needless to say will turn you off forever!
Instead of blade-like gills on the bottom of the cap/hood, Porcini mushrooms have a spongy layer of tissue that’s made up of a multitude of little tubes. In the case of porcini, they start out white and turn yellowish as the mushroom matures.
Most people choose to use dried or powdered Porcini due to the challenges with preparing, cooking or storing this expensive mushrooms.