This time we surveyed the most common types of fungi available at the stores and markets of Budapest – different varieties of champignon and oyster mushrooms, and a wild mushroom that pops up during the spring, called morel. Once more we used a few basic kitchen tricks so that we could compare the quality differences more precisely. To this end, we pan-fried them on fire for the same amount of time, seasoned them with a bit of salt without adding any other spices. You can find the results in the following presentation.
- The number one rule is to know death cap (Amanita phalloides)!
- Do always make mushrooms checked by a professional. It is a free service in markets and can save your life!
- Do only pick the mushrooms you know. And don’t destroy the unknown types either because someone else may pick them!
- Do not collect more then you can eat. Please make sure that there is left for others.
- The best is to carry mushroom in a basket but never use plastic bags. They go bad while you get home.
- Mushroom is very rich in chitin therefore children should not eat too much since they’re unable to digest it.
- Keep in mind that green-grocers are there to sell and not all Boletes they offer are the real cap, keep your eyes open! Do bargain freely and go for the smaller, firm pieces. Finally note that controlled and certified forest mushroom from the market are safe.
We can quickly face the fact that the mushroom assortment’s of a usual market/supermarket is very limited. We’re generally offered white button-mushroom, oyster, sometimes shiitake packed into those funny blue plastic boxes. Obviously this tells a lot about hungarian’s consumer attitudes. Nevertheless what could have recently caught our eye is the larger choice of dried mushrooms. Beyond the well known usual ones we can find more special and forest-picked ones. Because actually mushroom can be conserved perfectly by dehydrating. Beside the traditional drying methods (sun or artificial heat), freeze-drying=lyophilization has been started to used widely. Basically mushroom gets freezed then undergoes high vapor pressure where the water sublimates.This is an expensive process but is spreading in the food industry thanks to the positive consumer experience: lyophilized fruits and vegetables are surprisingly attractive and tasty. Continue reading »
Continue reading »
Let’s start with some fundamental information about the “archetype” of mushrooms what comes first into the minds of urban citizens. This is the cultivated white button-mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) what can be found in every supermarkets, the most known and world-wide commercially grown one. The natural conditions are re-created according to very precise parameters and rules to achieve a predictable production process which, we might feel, makes it similar to a man-made item rather then a natural living entity.
Briefly, first the mushroom compost is made (straw, horse or poultry manure, gypsum and water are blended and watered until it gets homogenous then get sterilized with heat treatment) which is then inoculated with mushroom spawn. The mix is put into big bags covered with a layer of turf and limestone to be incubated. Mushrooms then start growing. The whole process takes about 8-12 weeks. Quality relies on the controlled environment, timing, sufficient air and humidity. Similar process applies to other types of mushrooms for example the brown button mushroom or oyster.
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