Dried porcini mushrooms and uncooked pearled barley

Clint Randall asks:

Does anyone know where I can find dried porcini mushrooms and uncooked pearled barley?

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Comments

Barley

Most supermarkets should have pearled barley - check with the dried beans.

I buy my dried porcini at Salumeria Italiana in the North End because I use a LOT, but you should be able to find them at most supermarkets as well - check in the produce section, with the dried chiles and suchlike.

Dried porcini

It's kind of apples/oranges - I cook with fresh mushrooms a lot as well, but dried porcini have a rich flavor that permeates the dish in a way that fresh mushrooms (even the very-hard-to-find fresh porcini) don't. I mainly use them in risotto, occasionally in soups or stews.

bouillon cubes

If you end up at the Salumeria on Richmond, you can pick up a box of porcini bouillon cubes as well. They are very hard to find outside of certain regions of Italy (like Tuscany), and will also add the flavor you're looking for to soups and stews.

Phone Broken?

Hey, I don't mind being helpful, but I don't think I've ever been to a supermarket without barley. Right next to the dried beans every time. Dried porcinis are slightly rarer, but I have seen them at the shaws on comm ave in allston, central square, and fenway, the whole foods on Beacon st near the fens, washington st in brighton, and the big one in cambridgeport, and I'm pretty sure both the TJ's in Coolidge Corner and Cambridgeport.

I know human interaction may be scary, but it isn't that hard to pick up a phone and CALL the supermarket in your neighborhood. As kind-hearted as faceless internet folks can be, the employees will actually know for sure, and won't suggest driving to exotic locales such as Inman or Maine for basic ingredients.

Also, if it says "barley", it's probably

pearl barley. Barley that has undergone less of the polishing (pearling) to remove the outer hull than pearl barley is usually labeled "barley groats" and has a light brown color.

Thus, the plain ol' barley that Goya sells, for instance, and is easily found in with the dried beans, is also pearled. (Something I just figured out today.) There are degrees of pearling: it can be refined further to make smaller-bore kernels. But if it's white, it's pearl barley.