The underneath of the drumstick that I found in the woods of Verbania at 900 meters above sea level.
There drum mallet it is a delicious mushroom that can be cooked like a Milanese cutlet, that is, breaded and fried in butter (or oil). That's why, after having enjoyed a couple of them for dinner, I recommend this recipe that is widely used in all areas where the drum mallet (the one I know is Verbania and surroundings).
Find the drum bat. First you need to find the drum mallet and don't think about the gardener. This mushroom, which I repeat is very good, does not lend itself to marketing because it has a delicate flesh which, unlike porcini mushrooms, does not tolerate movement and shaking. There mace of drum it must therefore be found in the woods.
My modest experience as a mushroom hunter tells me that the ideal habitat of drum mallet they are the first mountain meadows (I mean 800-1000 meters) especially among the ferns or in the open wood with green undergrowth. It is not a fir or beech mushroom so to speak, even if it lends itself well to different micro-habitats.
To me of drum bats it happens to find some in the meadow in full light with no plants around but also in the woods under the hat of some tree, never close to the roots though. I have the impression that it gets along well with birch but also with locust and other essences and I don't see a particular 'mycological cortege'. The right period goes from late summer to early autumn depending on the climatic conditions, September is the maximum.
Recognize the drum bat. There macrolepiota procera, which is the scientific name of the commonly called mushroom drum mallet or in other places 'cappellaccio' has a hard and woody stem 15-30 cm long (but it happens to find more tall ones) and a soft hat that can exceed 20 cm in diameter when open and which therefore lends itself well to preparation 'in cutlet'.
The hat of the drum mallet it is whitish with a thick brown cuticle that fragments into large caducous and detachable scales starting from the outermost part. At first, when closed, the mushroom is oval (and looks just like the drumstick) then it becomes campanulate and finally flat with a fringed edge. Under the hat there are marked and whitish blades that brown to the edge, free, thick, ventricular, wide and soft.
The mushroom that most resembles the drum mallet 'Classic' is the macrolepiota rhacodes, a close relative, who has a whiter hat and is equally good. This is easier to find in the cultivated fields or under the trees in the pastures, or in the open clearings of the woods.
Collection and cleaning of the drum hammer. It is advisable to harvest it using a small knife with which to cut the stem at the base, avoiding uprooting all the root bulb leaving holes in the ground. To clean, remove the stem (or dry it and use it grated as a seasoning) and immerse the caps in water passing them under a light jet as much as possible. There is no need to remove the cuticle, an operation that some recommend but which only ends up damaging the fungus. Then it is dried on absorbent paper.
Preparation of the Milanese drumstick. And here we are at the recipe, which I call 'Milanese' because it recalls that of the traditional cutlet. You need:
- bread crumbs;
- one whole egg for each drum mallet;
The breading goes to preferences, I prefer a light single layer to cover as little as possible the flavor of the mushroom. I use salt to mix it with flour or breadcrumbs to incorporate it better, as an alternative to the final salting. For frying you need oil but I do not disdain butter, also thinking of the traditional cutlet. After cooking, it is left to rest on absorbent paper and served hot after checking the salt (if missing, add it) and if you like with a light sprinkling of pepper.