Fabulous Food Fungi
Fabulous Food Fungi.Mushroom. Soil, ethereal, rich, bouncy… .. Extraordinary.Mushrooms fall under the love/hate category. Either you like them or …… not so much. Like George W, Eminem, country music and Jim Carey. There is no intermediary.
Whichever group you belong to, mushrooms have long been a subject of fascination with many people. They are found all over the world and they date back to human history. In a Jurassic Park-like moment, a scientist recently discovered a fungus trapped in the sap of a million-year-old tree.
In ancient times, the Egyptians were so enamored with mushrooms that they called them sons of the gods, sent to earth by lightning and claimed to be food for royalty. No commoner was allowed to touch them, let alone eat them.
The Romans became obsessed with mushrooms and passed a law declaring mushrooms “food of the gods“. In medieval Ireland, mushrooms were considered umbrellas for elves, and even the gastronomically demanding Brits had their own legends of mushrooms. They believe that mushrooms should only be harvested during the full moon so that they can be eaten.
Of the more than 40,000 types of mushrooms, there are culinary delights, hallucinogens and mortals. Famous victims of mushroom poisoning include: Buddha, the Roman Emperors Tiberius and Claudius, a banquet full of guests from Emperor Nero, Alexander I of Russia, Pope Clement II and King Charles V of France. . Edible mushrooms are a very few of the types of mushrooms. Most mushrooms are tough, bitter, and tasteless, or they are too rare to be worth eating.
From an ecological point of view, fungi play an important role. Mushrooms are fungi, not vegetables, and they grow in dark places, reproducing by releasing millions of spores. By recycling dead organic matter into useful nutrients and enriching the soil, they play an important symbiotic role in the environment.
Some species are even used to absorb and digest toxic substances such as petroleum, pesticides and industrial waste as they threaten the environment. Fungi contribute to the production of many drugs, such as penicillin and other antibiotics, as well as being an essential ingredient for yeast in bread, cheese, champagne and beer.
Long considered nutritionally deficient, mushrooms have been re-evaluated in the 21st century and considered a “gourmet diet food“. They are low in calories, high in protein, make up about 20% of the dry mass on average, and contain a variety of B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic ) and minerals (selenium, copper, and potassium). Recently, it has been claimed that they can strengthen the immune system, have antibiotic properties and even fight cancer.
Mushrooms have been cultivated for 300 years. The French started growing them in caves in the 17th century. In the US, cultivation began in the early 19th century in Pennsylvania, still the leading producer, followed by California. Pennsylvania produces more than 50% of the commercially grown mushrooms in the United States.
When choosing mushrooms, look for mushrooms that are firm, moist, and free of stains. Store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator – NOT an airtight plastic bag, which will retain moisture and accelerate spoilage. Because mushrooms are 90% water, absolutely do not soak. To clean, simply brush or wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel or rinse with water, then wipe with a paper towel.
Morels and Truffles ,Because the most delicious mushrooms grow in the wild, they are cultured on their own. In Europe, families spend spring afternoons hunting in the countryside. It’s a joke: they’re enjoying the fresh air, Mother Nature, and taking home dinner.
Mushrooms such as chanterelles and porcini grow wild in Europe, North America, and Asia. But the most prized harvest is morels. Morels are abundant in Germany and France, and are also found in many states, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and the New England region.
There are four species of wild lynx, but the white is considered superior in taste and texture to the black fish. Due to their excellent taste and woody aroma, morels are quite expensive. A drier half-ounce costs about $9 at my local grocery store. They have a subtle, aromatic, smoky flavor that becomes more apparent as the specimen is darker in color.
In 1990, scientists developed a method for commercial culturing of straw mushrooms, however, wild mushrooms have a stronger and more delicious flavor. They are also rare, hence more expensive.
The undisputed emperor of the mushroom kingdom is truffles. In Europe there have been shootings, frauds and thefts of these tubers reminiscent of the plot of the 007 movie. As they grow underground (2-15″), away from the base of oak trees in Italy and France .
The 5 feet they’re awesome Connoisseurs have long considered truffles an aphrodisiac, perhaps because they produce a chemical that closely resembles a sex pheromone found in pig saliva Male and male underarm sweat (yum!) Although there is no scientific evidence of a sexual effect, hunters more often use trained dogs and goats due to the honesty of female pigs when they found truffles.
Truffles have a pungent, woody, slightly aromatic aroma and there are two types of truffles commonly found on the market: black and white. Enthusiasts disagree on which is best. Black truffles, found in France, Italy and China, are very aromatic and will leach into other foods unless stored separately.
The Italians are considered the best and the Chinese are inferior, but it’s hard to tell them apart. The safest thing to do if you want to buy truffles or truffle oil is to contact well-known and reputable names like Agribosco and Urbani. Fresh black truffles must be cooked and again must be purchased from a trusted source.