It will all happen to eat a tasty risotto with porcini mushrooms but surely most of us do not know the history behind it. A story made up of sacrifices, passion and so much dedication. Today we want to tell you this fable immersed in nature through the words of Franco Montemaggiore, head of urban fungi division.
“What’s inside a porcini mushroom risotto? There is a wonderful world with hundreds of thousands of families involved, “says Montemaggiore, ” Thousands of people who enter the most inaccessible woods to seek and collect these wonders of the Earth, who retrieve them, carry at any time of day and Of the night in a fight against time to ensure the excellence of the raw material. We of Urbani, with a spirit of sacrifice, we reach mountains far from civilization, unspoilt woods, villages made of a few houses where nature is the mistress, our continuous challenge is to search for the best mushrooms, most beautiful and healthier that grow in these woods. After years of travel all over the world we have structured ourselves in enchanting places with meticulous control thanks to expert teams, the whole chain. Without any presumption I can say that our organization is one of the most efficient in the world in the field of spontaneous mushrooms. But how is urban mushrooms born?
Since 2007 Urbani Tartufo, on the project of owner/manager Giammarco Urbani, has opened the urban Mushroom division together with the manager of the latter Franco Montemaggiore, in the sector from 1991. Under the expert guidance of Franco, in just 7 years the turnover of the mushroom division has gone from 500,000 euros to 7 million euros, a figure that currently very few mushroom farms in the world can boast and the turnover is constantly growing despite the Natural growth of fungi has been declining in the last three years due to the climate changes that are affecting our planet. The mushroom harvesting campaign takes place all over the world following quality parameters that characterize the excellence of urban products. The parameters used by urban fungi are very rigorous and guarantee the utmost quality.
“We look for mushrooms coming only from virgin areas, far from pollution”, continues Montemaggiore, “we evaluate the quality of undergrowth and trees and above all we do what we can to transform the product into the least I fear possible. From the moment of collection to the freezing and parcelling in cold rooms spend from 3 to 5 hours, thus making the sapidic and organoleptic characteristics of the mushrooms remain unchanged and the result is that the end user can taste a product that is in everything and for everything equal to the fresh product. The success of the product is also guaranteed by another important factor, the cleaning process of freshly harvested mushrooms. Most of our competitors simply remove the earth and continue cleaning by throwing the mushrooms in a tub of water. Considering that the fungus is made up of 78% water and has the characteristics of a sponge, you can imagine the final result. In our company, however, this step is managed with the care and expertise of once: each mushroom is cleaned in the part of the stalk with a special knife while the upper part is cleaned from the earth residues through the use of a dampened sponge. Immediately after freezing a -70 degrees, using for this passage about 7/8 minutes unlike those who use static refrigerators a -40 degrees engaged from 2 to 3 hours. With the method of rapid freezing you get a blast that goes to directly freeze the heart of the fungus without dispersion of important nutritional values”.
Currently urban mushrooms produces about 700 tonnes of frozen mushrooms and 80 tonnes of dried mushrooms and the revenues of this sector, always growing, cover 25% of the turnover of Urbani Italy. Another great success for Urbani, a great success for consumers attentive to the quality of what they eat.