The approach to the wonderful herbs and mushrooms world, looking for those to be picked, is an opportunity to be outdoors, maybe in company, to brush up botany, to rediscover traditions, but it also is a chance to save on vegetables purchase and experience a self sustenance ancestral satisfaction.
“Fitoalimurgia” is a term the etymology of which comes from the following Greek words: phyton = plant, alimos = all that feeds and ergon = activity specified for gastronomic use of natural plants. “Fitoalimurgia” relates to ethno-botany, a science, on the borderline between cultural anthropology and botany that deals with the use of plants in the various humane societies. The herbs harvest is a conscious involvement to realize interesting walks (with basket, small knife and gloves), paying attention to everything that usually, without regard, is stepped on. It will then be possible to taste an invaluable dandelion salad, a very good nettle risotto, the special rumex omelet and the original poppy leaves crepes….
Mushrooms harvest is as ancient as the herbs one: beginning at the end of summer, it becomes a real “hunt” to the most delicious species and each mushroom picker has his own special places. The Lanzo Valleys offer good opportunities for this activity, as there are different wood types, at different altitudes and exposures. It is, therefore, only necessary to get a capacious basket (no plastic bags allowed since they prevent spore spreading) and start walking. We remind you that in Piedmont, the mushrooms harvest is rules by L.R. n° 24 of 17th December 2007 and, among other things, it states that it is obligatory to have the authorized license.
It is a matter of slowly walking in places faraway from pollution, a basket and a small knife at hand, identifying edible plants and mushrooms, knowing what part and its phenological phase to harvest them, gathering some old simple recipes and, finally, cooking them with few poor and healthy ingredients. It is worthy rediscover the whole process.