I first studied mushrooms while living in Zurich and picking in the early mornings with a local chef named Victor Imfeld. It has been many years since I tried it near Zürich, but whenever the autumn rolls in I try to get into any forest and search mushrooms. However this is not something I recommend for amateurs and unless you are 100% sure about what you are picking never eat them, or taste them.

The egg reference also extends to the color of the mushroom described as egg yolk gold or red-orange. The underside of the hat is yellow and soluble and will turn water yellow due to the presence of the pigment and spores.Ovoli are excellent if eaten raw and please never attempt to pick mushrooms and try them unless you are accompanied by an expert. By the way, if you so happen to try mushroom picking in Zurich each commune will have a bureau where you can take the mushrooms to check their type to ensure safety.

I enjoy this ovoli mushrooms raw in salad whereas other people enjoy to stew it and add Nepitella. This herb is also known as calaminta and it grows wild in Italy, particularly in Tuscany and Umbria. The plant’s green leaves have a strong, distinctive flavor that’s described as a cross between mint and oregano. It is used on just about anything savory, from roasts to mushrooms.

Amanita Caesarea, the so-called ovolo mushroom, has been appreciated since Roman times, hence the name “Caesar’s Amanita.” This mushroom is found in many Italian regions and is known by diverse local names such as ‘ovulo’, ‘cocco buono’, ‘fungo reale’, ‘boleto’ and even ‘fong ross’. These names are easy to confuse with other versions of the ‘Amanita’ and especially the so-called ‘ovoli delle mortali’ – this is a mushroom should always be avoided as it will paralyze you to a slow death and the chances of recovery are next to none.



Ovoli always grow in the same location and are typically found in circular groups. They prefer leafy forest trees and woods such as oak, chestnut and beech, as well as dry sunny spots with sandy soil but not always.

They must be sliced vertically to make sure they do not belong to the poisonous part of the family. An Ovoli has a delicate, light and pleasant odor. If the mushroom is old or not conserved well it will become unpleasant, like a bad egg.