Monday, June 4, 2012

Hunting the illusive porcini

We met our friends for coffee this morning before going of to a special spot to hunt for porcini mushrooms. We drove back up the mountain towards Baiardo, parked and walked to the secret mushroom hunting spot. When hunting porcinis it is good to find an area with horse chestnut trees. As we walked deeper and deeper into the forest we couldn't help but notice that all the ground had been turned over, especially under the trees. The cingales or wild boars had beaten us to it. Obviously these cingales had gourmet tastes. One of the group found a few chanterelle type mushrooms. Dino found other unknown mushrooms but we decided if the cingales left them we didn't really want them. Once again the fog started rolling in so we decided to give up our quest.

Back in the home of our friends we enjoyed some tomatoes squashed in to delicious ciabatta bread with some basil leaves, some local cheese, some torta, which is a local zucchini pie, cherries picked right off the tree and some homemade red wine. All this in the sunshine for a few short minutes before fog and clouds swirling in every direction and then thunder, lightning and of course rain.

Later this afternoon it was clear blue skies and warmth. It was back down to the coast driving from San Remo to Imperia past lovely, sandy beaches, through small towns along the road lined with lovely bougainvillaea, roses and magnolias in bloom. We stopped in Imperia for some window shopping before walking the promenade along side the port. There were many huge yachts mainly from the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man but the one that caught our eye was the sleek, grey mega yacht, Radiant with the length of 110 metres. She is supposed to be one of the safest ships afloat. Apparently she can carry 16 passengers and has two pools, a cinema and a helicopter pad.

Our life is a little simpler than all of this. We just wanted some good fish and we were in luck finding a small restaurant right on the port. We had a variety of dishes but I had a huge grilled branzino or sea bass and frites, which was exactly what I wanted. It was right up there with the best branzino I have ever tasted. This topped off with an espresso and complimentary limoncello made for a fine finish to the evening before making the trek back up the mountain to Ceriana. Tomorrow we are looking forward to more sun.

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