The PGI Fungo di Borgotaro mushroom grows in the woods of Borgo Val di Taro and Albareto in the Parma province, and in the Pontremoli woods, which lies in the province of Massa-Carrara in Tuscany.
The name of this mushroom doesn’t actually refer to a single species, but rather to four: Boletus aestivalis (or summer cep), Boletus pinicola (or pine bolete), Boletus aereus (dark cep) and Boletus edulis, most commonly known as the porcino mushroom.
In the wild, these mushrooms grow naturally in woods with certain species of tree, including broadleaf trees such as beech, chestnut, Turkey oak and other types of oak trees, hornbeam, aspen and hazelnut, and conifers like European silver fir, Norway spruce, black pine and scots pine, and Douglas fir.
Borgotaro mushrooms were being sold on the market as early as the 17th century, as is documented by the ‘Istoria di Borgo Val di Taro’ (History of the Borgo Val di Taro) by canon Alberto Clemente Cassio; today, Borgotaro carries on its mushroom tradition in a variety of ways, one of which is the mushroom’s very own Fiera del Fungo di Borgotaro harvest festival.
Dried, frozen or preserved in oil, mushrooms work beautifully in a multitude of delicious dishes.
Local tradition calls for mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, parsley and garlic, mushroom-based sauces for pasta, and even raw mushrooms in salads or as an accompaniment to meat-based main courses.