The Chinese New Year is close at hand and this will be the year of the dog according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. However, according to all the food gurus, it will be the Year of the Mushroom.
White, brown, baby bella, oyster and shitake need to prepare for more “friends” on the mushroom shelf. Boletus, gypsy, horn of plenty, blewit and the saffron milk cap will be appearing on a shelf near you. Want a quick breakdown so you can keep up?
Found all over Europe, but primarily in France.
These mushrooms appear in a variety of provincial recipes from rural France. Finding their way into soups and sauces. A good mushroom stew in Europe often features this mushroom.
Found in Europe and North America, this mushroom is prized for its very mild flavor.
In recipes it if often found mixed with stronger flavored mushrooms like the Boletus. They can be eaten raw on salads or cooked. They will take on the flavor of any strong cooking component like garlic or sharp onions.
Horn of Plenty
Found all over the world: North America, Europe, Asia; this mushroom was once known as the “trumpets of the dead” in Greece because the dark appearance made them look like they would be something the ‘dead’ would have access to from Hades.
This mushroom has a strong flavor that nearly doubles in intensity by drying them. Often the dried mushrooms are ground to add mushroom flavor to other dishes.
The blewit can be found in both Europe and North America. These mushrooms have been cultivated in Europe for years.
This mushroom cooks up well, staying nice and firm when sautéed or included in a cream sauce. Most often, they are found accompanying chicken, beef or lamb as a sauce or sautéed with leeks.
Saffron Milk Cap
This beautiful mushroom can be found all over Europe, from Italy to Spain to Poland and across northern Russia. Prized in Russian cuisine, they are found in pine forest and are especially abundant in Siberia.
Being found in some many regions in Europe, the uses range from dredging in flour and frying in olive oil with whole garlic cloves to being sautéed in butter with parsley to being pickled and eaten with sour cream.
If the mushroom gurus are correct, you should see some of these varieties hitting a grocery or specialty store near you some time this year. When you do see them, don’t hesitate to try them out and add them to your menu.
John Steiding / Director of TrainingBack to News