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Ingredient of the Week, April 4: Mushrooms

Posted by on Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:10 AM
  • 9 Replies

 Mushrooms are a member of the fungi family. There are so many varieties of mushrooms, both edible and toxic, that mass consumption is pretty much limited to those commercially-grown varieties which can be trusted to be edible.

Fear of mushroom poisoning pervades every culture, sometimes reaching phobic extremes. The term mycophobic describes those individuals and cultures where fungi are looked upon with fear and loathing.

  But ancient Egyptians believed that mushrooms were  the plant of immortality 4600 years ago. The delicious flavor of mushrooms intrigued the pharaohs of Egypt so much that they decreed that mushrooms were food for royalty and that no commoner could ever touch them. This assured themselves the entire supply of mushrooms. In various other civilizations throughout the world including Russia, China, Greece, Mexico and Latin America, mushroom rituals were practiced. Many believed that mushrooms had properties that could produce super- human strength, help in finding lost objects and lead the soul to the realm of the gods.

In the 1800's, France was growing mushrooms for the market, and they soon traveled to America.

Due to the fact that growing was limited by the temperature and humidity of season, mushrooms were planted in the fall and harvested in winter and spring. Fresh mushrooms were, therefore, hard to come by in the summer.  Until the 1940's there was only one mushroom available on the market, the brown Italian, that we now call the crimini. With the availability of air conditioning, that mushroom farmers of the past did not have, mushrooms can be grown year-round. Even though technology has come a long way to make commercial mushroom production easier, it is still not an easy process. Mushroom growing begins in the a sterile conditions of a laboratory, where the mushroom spores (or spawn) are created. From this point, the mushroom farmer must take care of all conditions, including temperature, humidity, sterilization, darkness control, water control, etc.

Do you like them or hate them? If you like them how do you cook them? Which ones are your favorites? Have you ever gone hunting for wild ones?

 With all the work of mushroom farmers, past and present, we are all able to enjoy mushrooms anytime. There are many varieties of delicious mushrooms to choose from, including Agaricus (white mushroom), Crimini (brown), Shiitake, Oyster, Enoki, Portabella and many more !

by on Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:10 AM
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Replies (1-9):
rocamom
by on Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

My hubby calls mushrooms Honorary meat.  We LOVES mushrooms in this house.

SuperPickle
by Gold Member on Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:23 AM

i can only use them in very small amounts , they give me a massive horrendous stomach ache.

Pretty much the only way I use them (white button )is for my homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. 

I do love a good portabella on a chicken burger but more than a few bites gets me....=(

SweetLuci
by Luci on Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

 I often serve them if vegetarians are around, especially Portobellos, because they have that meaty texture.

Quoting rocamom:

My hubby calls mushrooms Honorary meat.  We LOVES mushrooms in this house.

 

SweetLuci
by Luci on Apr. 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

 So sorry to hear that.

Quoting SuperPickle:

i can only use them in very small amounts , they give me a massive horrendous stomach ache.

Pretty much the only way I use them (white button )is for my homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup. 

I do love a good portabella on a chicken burger but more than a few bites gets me....=(

 

KaylaMillar
by Kayla on Apr. 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM

 I don't like mushrooms.  If i cook with them i put them in dhs portion and not mine. 

Kimberly954
by on Apr. 4, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I am the only mushroom eater. I like them on my burgers, omelettes, and sandwiches and if I am at Moes (burrito place) I get them on my burritos. I also like to pan cook portabello mushrooms and put them on top of turkey burgers.

delanna6two
by Ruby Member on Apr. 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I don't use mushrooms a lot...but don't mind them in foods like pizza or sauces.

SweetLuci
by Luci on Apr. 6, 2011 at 8:43 PM

 

Mushroom Cooking Tips

• In most cooked recipes, different varieties of mushrooms may be used interchangeably.

• To reconstitute dried mushrooms, cover with warm liquid (water, broth, wine, etc.) and let sit at least 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and blot on paper towels.

• The liquid used to reconstitute dried mushrooms makes a flavorful addition to soups, stews, and stocks. Strain the liquid through a double thickness of cheesecloth or a clean, unprinted paper towel before using.

• For easy marinated mushrooms, cover cleaned button mushrooms with your favorite vinaigrette, cover and refrigerate for 2 days.

• An egg-slicer makes quick work of slicing mushrooms into uniform pieces.

• Cut edges of mushrooms will turn dark when exposed to air. When they will be served raw, cut just before serving or wipe the cut edges with lemon juice.

• Mushroom powder can easily be made by grinding dried mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder, food processor, or heavy-duty blender. Use to flavor soups, stews, stocks, dips, and sauces.

• Avoid aluminum pans when cooking light-colored mushrooms. The aluminum will discolor the mushrooms.

• Since mushrooms contain so much water, no additional liquid is needed when cooking them in a microwave. Do not cover.

• Don't throw away mushroom stems. Trim and freeze them to use in soups and stocks.

KamsOne
by Jen on Apr. 6, 2011 at 9:59 PM
Blech! We hate mushrooms in our house. Funny though when I was a kid I loved them. Pepperoni and mushroom pizza used to be my favorite!
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