In the period from late August to November, in the central-northern area of Italy, especially at the Apennine level, it is still possible to find a particular fungus in appearance, flavor and culinary use: the trumpets of the dead, scientifically Craterellus cornucopioides .
The name with which it is best known around Italy refers to its appearance similar to that of a black trumpet, which moreover bears fruit at its peak around the day of the commemoration of the dead.
It is a rather "safe" mushroom because its appearance can possibly be confused only with that of very few other species, which are also edible and generally rarer, therefore, since there is no poisonous fungus in nature similar to the trumpets of the dead, one can play it safe in the collection and preparation .
It is a fungus that remains modest in size, no more than 10 centimeters, and is hollow, therefore it needs discrete quantities, especially if one intends to dry it, a practice that, as we will see later, is very common.
It is important to wash it accurately, as its hollow shape lends itself to collecting various types of impurities such as small insects and decomposing leaves.
One of the reasons why it is still consumed, although it is not a commonly praised mushroom among the best, is the unmistakable aroma and flavor of its flesh, with fruity notes and black truffle aftertaste .
Now is the time to dedicate ourselves to describing some recipes with the trumpets of the dead.
Read also Autumn mushrooms, how to recognize them >>
1. Truffle of the poor
> Trumpets of the dead
Here is the first distinctive use of the trumpets of the dead, not a real recipe as much as the preparation of an ingredient that can be useful for many dishes.
We will take our dead trumpets and, after having washed them well, we will dry them completely.
Once done, we will pass them in the coffee grinder until they are reduced to fine powder. This black powder, called the truffle of the poor, has been a kind of mountain spice for centuries, ideal in risottos and pasta dishes.
2. Truffled bread
Ingredients> Savory bread;
> butter or margarine;
> parsley or coriander leaves;
> truffle of the poor.
We have two options: cut the bread into slices or cut into it and work the entire shape inside . In any case we will first have to prepare a cream with butter, or margarine for vegans, with the addition of minced garlic, a pinch of salt, finely chopped parsley or coriander leaves and powder of dead trumpets or truffle of the poor.
Once all together, you can simply spread the cream on the slices of bread or inside it through incisions and then put it in the oven at 150 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve hot.
3. Potatoes with trumpets of the dead
> Yellow potatoes;
> trumpets of the fresh dead;
> chilli pepper;
Simple and tasty dish of the rural tradition. We will take some yellow-paste potatoes, cut into cubes not too big and put them in a deep pan where chopped shallot is frying in olive oil.
After a minute spent turning, we will add water or broth and lower the heat so that the potatoes have time to cook and soften. Meanwhile we will add some chilli powder, a sprig of rosemary which we will then remove before serving, and a few chopped leaves of sage.
Halfway through cooking we will add our trumpets of the dead, well washed but still whole, leaving them to cook well giving their aroma to the potatoes. Wait for the water to withdraw and the dish to become creamy.
4. Sushi with trumpets of the dead
> Rice for sushi;
> nori seaweed;
> trumpets of the dead;
> crab meat;
> soy sauce.
Here is a modern dish of fusion cuisine. Sushi with mushroom stuffing is becoming more and more fashionable and the trumpets of the dead are ideal for the purpose.
Once cooked the rice and prepared our nori seaweed, it will be a question of knowing how to dose the ingredients: to a slice of trumpet of the dead we will match a salmon fillet or a slice of crab meat, and we will finish the triptych with a piece of avocado ripe before closing it all and add two drops of soy sauce .