The different species of Tricholoma
The genus Tricholoma is a vast grouping of fungi belonging to the Tricholomataceae family, which in turn is subdivided into many different species, some of which are edible, while others are not. The Tricholoma orirubens belong to the edible species, whose color changes to reddish; the Tricholoma myomices, with a very thin stem, or the sad Tricholoma, with a very dark color. The most widespread and sought after by admirers however is the Tricholoma terreum, which is commonly called moretta. We must be very careful not to confuse it with an inedible Tricholoma, indeed, very poisonous and able to lead even to death those who eat it, or Tricholoma pardinum. The main difference between the two is in the consistency of the meat of the stem, more firm in the pardinum.
The characteristics of the brunette
Specifically, the characteristics from which it is possible to recognize the tuft are the following. It has a convex-shaped hair, which tends to flatten out on the edges and reaches a maximum of eight centimeters in diameter. Its color is dark gray, while the lower gills, which are quite wide, are white. The stem is gray, and between four and eight centimeters high. The cuticle has dark gray or black spots; the meat, on the other hand, is white, very delicate, especially in the stalk, and has a good smell of flour, and if tasted raw it also has the taste of flour. The moretta grows in the deciduous and coniferous forests, and is found very frequently in the pine forests. The period in which one can look is the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, but in some cases it can also be found already at the end of the summer season.
How to recognize the brunette
The moretta looks very similar to other types of fungus, therefore, if some specimen is collected, one must always turn to the local ASL for an official recognition. In fact, even if the tuft can be confused with other types of edible fungus, one could also run into some toxic species. The Italian resorts where it is most common to be able to find the tufted duck are in the north, but it is diffused a little over the whole territory. It is not a particularly rare species, nor is it particularly sought after in the kitchen, although it has a pleasant taste. Its botanical name, Tricholoma, indicates the fact that along the edges these mushrooms have a slight down: trix in fact means hair, while loma means hem. Terreum, on the other hand, alludes to the grayish and slightly dull color of the moretta, from which the name of moretta comes.
Moretta: How to cook the tufted duck
The moretta, as it was said, if eaten raw, gives off a smell of fresh flour, and has the same taste. It is a mushroom with very delicate meats, which can be cooked in all traditional ways, without particular indications. For conservation, the moretta is particularly tasty if put in oil. It would always be better to use young specimens, and before cooking it is always a good idea to remove the cuticle from the hat, and also boil them slightly, in order to remove the smell of earth that can remain even after the most thorough cleaning. Risotto is one of the most popular recipes using moretta as the main ingredient. The moretta is a fungus poor in calories but rich in water and mineral salts, therefore indicated for consumption also by those who must pay attention to their diet.