Domestic and wild. Two adjectives every mushroom lover should know. Domestic, the familiar white buttons, tawny crimini and the gargantuan portobello are often the first fungi flavors on our tongue. But those lucky enough to have tried the irreplaceable wild mushrooms know, that sometimes the farm cannot match with the mysterious of sun, moisture, earth and forest. Chamomile-hinted chanterelles, coral-veined morels, briny-scented lobsters as bright as the crustacean shell, storybook black trumpets and of course, porcini. AKA cepes. AKA boletus. The king of mushrooms that endow those who find and eat them with the truest sense of accomplishment. Aimless wandering in beautiful tree groves for the possibility of finding something. Anything. That's a risk many find worth taking.
Italy. France. And yes, the United States. We hear stories of beefy specimens from Oregon. But recently, some friends discovered them within a short drive on a beautiful day. About 20 pounds worth of natural wonder, to slice and roast or dry and share with friends. The stalwart fungi-hanters remain unconvinced, even as you feast on something so simple, sizzling from the oven with a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive, sprgs of fresh thyme and plenty of salt.
To the mushroom-lovers -- the intrepid, the curious, the nerdy and most of all -- the hungry.