It is one of the varieties of boletus mushroom which have made the fortune of the area including the municipalities of Albareto and Borgo Val di Taro, in the province of Parma, and Pontremoli, in the Province of Massa-Carrara. It is the Porcino di Borgotaro, guaranteed by the IGP certification. As it is extremely influenced by both climatic and environmental conditions, the production can vary to a great extent. In recent times, the production amounts between 4 and 7 tons per year. Year on year, the percentage of this product assigned to preserves in oil is more and more increasing. The export of the dry product began a few time ago, especially towards Northern Europe.
Because of the limited shelf life of fresh mushroom, according to the tradition this product is preserved by means of drying, processing into oil, or even freezing. The drying systems are the natural ones, carried out by exposing it to the sun, or on wood stove. The congealed or frozen mushrooms must comply with the same requirements which concern the fresh product. For this reason, its yield in terms of flavour and fragrance is identical and very satisfying.
In order to keep to the utmost their features in terms of quality, the controls concerning the production must be especially rigorous. The picked mushrooms must be delivered to the packager within the day which follows the one of picking. They must be packaged into containers in wood with low edges on a single layer. The package is then closed by means of a small net, in order to prevent the contents from being removed without breaking the seal on the container. On the package, a band with the words ‘Fungo di Borgotaro’ must be placed. In each box at most 4 kg of mushrooms should be arranged. For the dried product, and especially the one in oil, first quality glass is the most commonly used container.
Among beautiful valleys
The Fungo Porcino di Borgotaro is the main actor of a road which mainly winds in the valley ‘Alta Val Taro’, joining to the northeast with the valley ‘Val Baganza’ and ‘Strada del Prosciutto’ and ‘Vini dei Colli’. This territory is full of the most beautiful sceneries of the entire Apennine ridge. It is harmoniously composed of the reliefs which climb up from the numerous rivers in order to reach the peaks of the borders of Liguria and Tuscany. A land rich in history, marked by castles, medieval villages, and ancient places of worship.
Many famous chefs use the Porcino di Borgotaro from appetizers to second courses. They prepare them in oil, sautéed in a pan, grilled, raw, in very thin slices with flakes of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The use of this mushroom in the sauce for seasoning the typical noodles, with tortelli as well as with potato dumplings is especially appreciated. The version in oil is used in the richest appetizers, also thanks to the use of especially light and low acidity oils, choosing the best fresh mushrooms.