October 8, 2005

Fall Market treasures

Fall is my favorite season to cook,slow stews, beans and soups encouraging long slow meals with friends and wine.

The rain has arrived, hopefully everyone got their grapes harvested in time, this years summer was not hot, and many left the grapes on the vine to catch the Indian summer, which came... and went!

But the rain brings us gifts!
Porcini mushrooms grow on a hot day after it's rained under Chestnut and Oak trees, so we are in mushroom heaven now.

Besides the Porcini, this week we also saw the beautiful OVULI, a rare mushroom, which when tiny looks like a hard-boiled egg (OVO in Floretine dialect), the bright yellow cap forming what looks like a yolk.

Other wild gifts of fall are the colored Cauliflower and broccoli!
something right out of a science experiment!

Fall also sees the return of Chocolate to the market!

The summer heat makes it impossible to maintain chocolate, so the plants close down and reopen in September. fun commercial chocolates like Baci and Pocket Coffee are at their best, being just made.
I am off to run a chocolate tour for professionals from Ecole Chocolat, a great online chocolate school!

They will finish the week off in Perugia at the incredible Eurochocolate festival in Perugia!


  1. Hmmph! In what would I cook asparagus 15" long? That's practically the size of my cooker.
    Diva, I missed your blog updates. I know it is important for you to run around making people eat chocolate, but mi manchi veramente!
    So ovuli, I see the signs. What should I do with them?
    I made speculative brasato di maiale yesterday evening. For polenta, my autumn entry signal. All I have to do is heat it and make the polenta, but where are you? Eating chocolate.

  2. now I know why you want to cook asparagus!!!
    who knows who this is?

    BUt I roast them with oil and salt and then serve them with shaved parmesan cheese, toasted pinenuts and a drizzle of tradtional Balsamic Vinegar!

    Ovuli, when small and simply cleaned, sliced think and served as a mushroom carpaccio.
    Again with oil, salt parmesan..and some people like lemon!
    I took the big ones I bought and just sauted then with garlic olive oil and Nepitella ( catmint, Nepeta) pinch of salt... and a little water to make them creamy. am saving for a sauce... or risotto.

  3. Catnip? Catnip?!!! Wow. It makes my cats run up the concrete telephone poles and fight amongst themselves. What does it do to you?

  4. The ovuli mushrooms do look like egg yolks :)
    Enjoy your chocolate!

  5. When is truffle season? I love the photo you posted, its so fall, full of deep oranges. Your site is really great to follow, thanks!

  6. right now I an buy both Black and white truffles in the market.
    the white Truffles are about 200 Euro an etto ( which is 100 grams , about 3 ounces.)
    They will soar in price to almost double that by Christmas, so enjoy now!

    a 50 or 60 Euro is a nice size truffle and will make a great pasta sauce for several people!
    I will get one and show you soon!

  7. My fiance is obsessed with shaving truffles over everything- when he has them. A friend recently was able to sneak some into the U.S. for us, but now we ar ehunting in our local markets for reasonably priced procini. In California we so far- only have dry for $60 a pound and $45.00 for fresh for 4 ounces. SO EXPENSIVE! *cries* I wish you amny wondeful meals with the bounty of truffles and mushrooms grown locally to you.
    We will begin to indulge in crab season soon enough though... Crabs are my second favorite, next to truffles. Crabs in season are only $4.00 a pound.