All About the Mushroom

March 19, 2018

The American composer John Cage had an equal love for mushrooms as he did for music. In the 1960s, Cage made a living by supplying New York restaurants like the Four Seasons his own foraged mushrooms. His original recipes for “dogsup”, a mushroom-filled replacement for ketchup, and a mushroom salad dressing were even published in a 1965 Vogue article.

We love mushrooms just as much as John Cage; not only are they tasty and versatile in cooking but they also pack a powerful nutritional punch. But not any mushroom will do. The mushrooms we offer in our markets grown by Primordia Farm, PA win over our hearts every time we bite into them. They’ve got a perfect texture and flavor which makes cooking super easy.

There are many types of mushrooms but here are the basic types we have on
rotation at Local Roots and here’s an overview:

Oyster Mushroom – Oyster mushrooms have a broad, fan or oyster-shaped cap. The oyster mushroom is frequently used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cookery as a delicacy. Oyster mushrooms are sometimes made into a sauce, used in Asian
cooking, which is similar to oyster sauce.

Cremini – Cremini mushrooms (also referred to as cremino, common brown, and
Roman), are commonly marketed as “baby bella” or “baby portobello” mushrooms
because they are just that — a juvenile portobello mushroom. Both cremini and
portobello mushrooms sport a dark brown color and a smooth cap, and boast a deep savory flavor. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for roasted cremini.

Shiitake – Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide.
They’re tan to dark brown in color, and the caps usually grow to between 2 and 4
inches. Ramen lover? Check out this delicious recipe for a quick kimchi ramen and shiitake mushrooms.

Trumpet – Trumpet Oyster mushrooms are unique in appearance to other
mushrooms. It has a thick, meaty white stem and a small tan cap, in young
specimens. For a homey dish, try this polenta & trumpet mushroom dish!

Pioppini – Velvet Pioppini mushroom have chocolate brown caps and pearly stems, and are skinny yet sturdy. The grow in clusters. The mushroom’s rich and earthy umami flavors are frequently described as “foresty” and peppery, with a firm
texture and satin finish that holds up beautifully in cooking. Pioppini mushrooms
taste great in a hearty ragu.

Nutritional facts
Increasing consumption of whole, unprocessed foods, like mushrooms, appears to decrease the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease.
They also promote a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall
lower weight.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants; antioxidants are chemicals that get rid of free
radicals, a type of chemical that can harm a person’s body cells, potentially leading
to cancer.

Selenium is another mineral found in mushrooms that is not present in
most fruits and vegetables. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Selenium prevents inflammation, aids in immunity and also decreases tumor growth rates.

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins such as riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and niacin B3). The B vitamins help the body to get energy from food, and they help form red blood cells. Mushrooms are the only vegan, non-fortified dietary source of vitamin D. Lastly, mushrooms contain choline, an
important nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory.

Quick tips/recipes for cooking with mushrooms
– Sauté any type of mushroom with onions for a quick and tasty side dish
– Add raw sliced cremini mushrooms or white mushrooms to top any salad
– Make stuffed portabella mushrooms by filling them with your favorite
ingredients and baking
– Create little mushroom pizza’s by adding crushed tomatoes, garlic & cheese
on top and baking
– Make a mushroom broth which is perfect for these cold winter months
– Great with Local Roots eggs too! Make a hearty frittata.

Tips for cleaning & preserving
– Store mushrooms in the refrigerator and do not wash or trim them until ready for
– Mushrooms are a surprisingly versatile ingredient and their culinary possibilities
are seemingly endless! At Local Roots we are so happy to introduce a mushroom
seducer this winter season so members can purchase one week of mushrooms for pick up!

Hope you will add mushrooms into your cooking arsenal to further enjoy
the wide range of benefits this robust fungi holds. You can order your Local Roots mushrooms here.

Article contributed by Local Roots member Jenny Weinstein
January 16th, 2017

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