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A Primer on Specialty Mushrooms (with Royal Trumpet Mushroom Soba Salad Recipe)

| 5/31/2016 9:27:00 AM

Long before I moved to the Mid-Atlantic, I was fond of mushrooms. What was missing is the fact I only knew of about three varieties of store-bought mushrooms. Shortly after we moved north of Baltimore we discovered Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the self-proclaimed Mushroom Capital of the World.

First up on the list during my path of discovery was trying each restaurant’s mushroom soup in the downtown Kennett Square area. Some used mushrooms I had never heard of like maitake, reishi, and Royal Trumpet.

Next up was finding a source to buy some fresh mushrooms to take home to experiment with. After a couple of years, on this path of discovery, I was asked to cook occasional mushroom themed classes and demonstrations at my favorite mushroom shop. It was through that work I began to learn about the many varieties of store-bought mushrooms and how to prepare them.
Royal Trumpet display at Phillip's Mushrooms

Royal Trumpet mushrooms in The Woodlands at Phillips mushroom display.

Exotic mushroom varieties are daunting to most consumers. They ought not be intimidated by these strange but tasty morsels. There are several sources for recipes including the Mushroom Council, my website, or by using search engines. Mushrooms deserve a place at your table due to taste, availability, and purported health benefits.

Mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and minerals, and are said to be the only food containing natural vitamin D. I learned at a mushroom talk if you take a shitake mushroom and place it in the sun, gill side up, the vitamin D content increases by hundreds percent or more depending on how long you leave it in the sun! City of Hope research scientists have found mushrooms to have cancer fighting properties making it more likely to end up on plates of savvy foodies.

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