One of our favorite adventures in Abruzzo was a simple morning riding bicycles in the countryside. Don’t you just love that if you are looking for an adventure, it’s always there in some way or another! We were riding along on our bikes taking in all the amazing views of the mountains and surrounding farms when two men caught our eye in the distance. They had their woven baskets in hand and were on their way up a small hill that had some beautiful, little trees perched at the top of it. Being the foodies we are, we looked at each other with excitement knowing they were searching for some type of food and this was about to get really fun.
We introduced ourselves to Renzo and Edmondo who were extremely gracious to let us join them on their hunt for mushrooms. They guided us through the process of how to search for funghi prataioli, field mushrooms. Unfortunately it hadn’t rained much so there was a less than abundant supply. However, it was so much fun to walk around with them as they showed us which mushrooms we were looking for, which were worth picking, and which ones weren’t. We loved their response when we asked them if they gathered the mushrooms so that they could sell them. They went out early in the mornings on the weekends to hunt for mushrooms simply for their families to eat them and for the fun of the hunt. The art of hunting had been passed down to Edmondo from his uncle—sooo Italian!
We’re not sure that we feel confident enough to go hunting in the wild for mushrooms on our own just yet. Maybe we’ll take an official class one day. For now, we’ll remember this amazing experience…and keep buying our mushrooms at our local farmer’s market.