Edible mushrooms have unique nutritional properties. They can be harvested from the woods, bought fresh or dried at the supermarket, and even grown at home. Here are the good ones to eat for cooking in many recipes
THE mushrooms they have been part of the human imagination since antiquity. A walk in the forest or in the fields is enough to discover a world of shapes and colors reminiscent of fairy tales, tales and legends. The mysterious charm is outweighed by the danger, given that in addition to excellent edible mushrooms that are good to eat, there are just as many poisonous varieties that are dangerous to touch, to pick and above all not to ingest.
tag me edible mushrooms it requires experience and if you are not sure, it is better to submit those collected to an expert or directly to a food analysis laboratory. To avoid any risk, it is absolutely better to buy them at the supermarket. That said, the properties of the mushroom from a nutritional or gastronomic point of view can be really excellent and with a little patience they can also be grown on the balcony of the house.
Mushroom between magic and legend
THE mushrooms they have always nourished the tales and legends of the whole world. Sometimes, after a storm, they grow up in circles which in England they associate with fairies, in Holland with the devil who removes the milk can, while in France and Austria with witchcraft. Certain popular beliefs are evoked in religions but everything suggests that it is better to move away from them. The reason is obvious, and everyone knows it from childhood: in addition to edible mushrooms, there are unpleasant and poisonous ones.
Certainly I edible mushrooms good to eat can be a rare delicacy, so much so that there are 4,500 hieroglyphs that say that in ancient Egyptian times only kings could eat them. In the East, their use is part of natural medicine. In ancient Chinese and Japanese medicine, the antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of varieties have been exploited for many centuries. shiitake And maitake.
The mushroom legends they are also attributable to certain hallucinogenic characteristics due to the toxin psilocybin, a euphoriant present in certain species used in ancient rituals. To avoid any problems, you should only buy varieties that have undergone extensive health checks. There is no empirical evidence to establish with absolute certainty whether a mushroom is good or not.
Benefits of mushrooms
To be reassured, it is better to buy edible mushrooms only in trusted stores and supermarkets, but they are an ideal side dish for everyone. They are low calorie foods, rich in minerals and without cholesterol, they help the immune system for those who follow a controlled diet. It is no coincidence that in Asia they have been used for many centuries also for their medicinal virtues.
If consumed sparingly and respecting the rules i mushrooms are a real remedy for health. In particular, vegetarians can add them to the diet to respect a complete balanced diet with all nutrients. When purchased, they should be firm to the touch and have a perfectly closed upper. Alternatively, when the season does not allow it, they can be found dried and frozen.
There are more than 200 types of edible mushrooms that grow in different regions. In Italy, too many species are safe to eat, numbering in the hundreds. The best known and present on our tables can be divided into a few categories distributed according to a few simple parameters.
Types of Edible Mushrooms
THE cultivated mushrooms they are among the easiest species to find in supermarkets all year round. Among the varieties for sale are the Mushroom or white mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus) with the Prataiolo (Agaricus campestris), toMumps (Pleurotus ostreatus) et al Cardarello (Pleurotus eryngii).
THE common mushrooms, sometimes also sold in supermarkets, can be harvested in the woods and meadows in autumn and summer. The most famous varieties are i drawing pins (Armillaria mellea), chanterelles or chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), blackthorn (Tricholoma Georgii), Morel (Morchella rotunda), piopparelli (Agrocybe aegerita) and the so-called drum mallet or Bubbola buona (Macrolepiota excoriata).
THE renowned mushrooms they are sold in specialized stores, have a high food value, and also a considerable price. The king of the forest is the common and black bolete (Boletus edulis and aereus), theoval (Amanita caesarea) difficult to find with the Vescia major (Calvatia maxima), as it makes its way into restaurant kitchens good lapacendron (Lactarius deliciosus).
THE Japanese mushrooms whose properties we have already described are the shiitake with a strong woody flavor. Purchased dried, they are left to soak in hot water until they become tender and ready to be cooked. Easy to find in health food stores, they are particularly interesting for strengthening the immune system, controlling blood pressure and providing vitamin B and fiber to the body.
Cleaning and preparation
In principle I mushrooms should never be washed to prevent them from absorbing water, but simply clean them with a paper towel. Exceptions are varieties such as morels, which instead need to be washed several times to get rid of the soil that nestles in the cells. The others are content to clean them by scraping the earth with a small knife, removing the damaged parts and rubbing them lightly with a cloth.
For prepare them for cooking they are cut at the base of the stem. Some cultivated mushroom pods should be peeled by making quartered incisions and removing one pod at a time. After having whipped them, they must be rubbed with half a lemon to prevent them from turning black during cooking. If they are of good quality, they can also be washed immersed for some time in cold water acidulated with lemon or vinegar and then gently dried.
The different species of edible mushrooms present on Italian territory make it a special ingredient of various exclusive recipes. Cooking methods are different. Fresh can be cooked in a skillet by sautéing them with oil and garlic quickly and easily. A handful of finely chopped parsley makes them even tastier as a side dish or as a main course with baked potatoes or vegetables.
The black bolete, the ovolo, the prataiolo, the good bubbola (the chapels) and the vescie can be eaten raw in salads by cutting them very finely. Nails should always be well cooked before eating them, raw they can be toxic. On the grill, ovolo chapels, baguettes or good bubbola can be cooked in 15-20 minutes, not to mention porcino, better black (usually firmer).
Jumped up with a cooking time of 10 15 minutes, it is necessary to cook the most tender mushrooms which do not become viscous during cooking, such as porcino, ovolo, drumstick or good bubbona, blackthorn, mushroom, morel and the vescia maggiore. In stews and stews cooked for 30-45 minutes, chanterelles and chiodini are ideal in combination with polenta and as a condiment for various dishes.
Various vegan recipes they offer more elaborate appetizing solutions as an aperitif or as an alternative to the classic Hamburger. From barley with mushrooms, quique with artichokes with rice and soy cream, to the preparation of easy mushroom pâté to sauté in a pot with garlic to which we add tofu and parsley. A separate chapter deserves recipes with shiitake mushrooms used in Japanese cuisine to flavor soups and cereals, they go well with potatoes (mushroom meatballs) and vegetable sauces.
THE dried mushrooms they can be obtained by drying them after cutting them fresh into slices. A tea towel on which they are placed thinly in an oven at 60 degrees (door ajar) or simply the heat of the sun may be sufficient. In cold seasons they can also be hung on a wire in the house. If cultivated, the advice is to consume them fresh because dry they tend to lose their aroma and flavor, vicevesa can be kept for about a year and then rehydrated by adding cooking water.
THE dried porcini mushrooms they are excellent in risotto or to flavor roasts and dishes of all kinds. For Japanese mushrooms, drying is an excellent preservation technique and they are sold in stores in convenient packaging. Oil mushrooms have a special preservation technique with a procedure that requires a series of precautions to avoid even very serious problems. From fresh products, they should be boiled briefly in a solution of vinegar and boiling olive oil. Jars should be cleaned and boiled for sterilization following the same advice for the letter preserves.
Growing Mushrooms Indoors
As for the vegetable gardens also in grow mushrooms indoors any place is fine. The most isolated corner of the kitchen, the cellar or any sheltered space may suffice. Cultivating them is a satisfaction that also becomes pleasant to see: the mushrooms have different shapes and also particular colors (grey, pink, yellow). Following the growth and then tasting them can be an educational experience for children and proves to be an additional stimulus for thinking about environmental issues.
The ideal habitat to grow mushrooms, it can be created using coffee grounds, mycelium (the seeds of the mushroom, are easily found in low-cost agricultural consortia) and other substances such as sawdust, straw, wood shavings and cardboard make up the growing medium. Everyone has different needs: mushrooms with manure, shiitakes in wood or sawdust and oyster mushrooms in straw. Wooden boxes, ventilated plastic bags and various containers are necessary to keep the material moist (it must be watered several times a day).
Buy the grow kit this is the easiest way to grow them, especially at first. It can become a gourmet, playful and above all economical gift. The cost is around 15 euros, there are several possibilities like the ready-to-use kits of Mushroom Espresso and Mushroom box. Other ready-to-use Shii-Take and Reishi culture solutions are from plant dealers or mycological societies. Also on Amazon you will find easy kits for traditional mushroom cultivation at home or in the garden.
On the mushroom cultivation many start-ups in the food sector have also launched. Nothing is created, everything is transformed is the philosophy that unites the experts of Espresso Mushrooms, a Florentine company dedicated to sustainable agriculture that has developed experimental cultivation projects that also use coffee waste. The tasty and renowned Porcino is impossible to breed while Pleurotus, Cardoncello and Shiitake varieties are the easiest to grow even at home.