Outside of Rome at this time of year, the hills – that would be the Castelli Romani – are alive with an abundance of fungi, the uber-fragrant porcini and the less familiar ovoli. Referred to in English as Caesar’s Mushrooms because according to those who know such arcane facts they were favored above all others by the rulers of ancient Rome, these orangish to straw-colored mushrooms with a white underside and stem are more delicate in flavor than porcini.
Inside the gates of Rome, restaurants offer a salad (can we call it a “Caesar Salad”?) of sliced ovoli, diced celery, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, dressed only with extra virgin olive oil. And that’s what I ate on a beautiful ottobrata (the last gasp of summer) evening in Rome. Superbus!