Edible mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (notably Chinese, European, and Japanese). Though mushrooms are commonly thought to have little nutritional value, many species are high in fibre and provide vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, cobalamins, ascorbic acid.
Most mushrooms that are sold in supermarkets have been commercially grown on mushroom farms. The most popular of these, Agaricus bisporus, is safe for most people to eat because it is grown in controlled, sterilised environments, though some individuals do not tolerate it well. Several varieties of A. bisporus are grown commercially, including whites, Crimini mushrooms and Portobello. Other cultivated species now available at many grocers include shiitake, maitake or hen-of-the-woods, oyster mushrooms, and enoki.
There are a number of species of mushroom that are poisonous, and although some resemble certain edible species, eating them could be fatal. Eating mushrooms gathered in the wild is risky and should not be undertaken by individuals not knowledgeable in mushroom identification, unless the individuals limit themselves to a relatively small number of good edible species that are visually distinctive. More generally, and particularly with gilled mushrooms, separating edible from poisonous species requires meticulous attention to detail; there is no single trait by which all toxic mushrooms can be identified, nor one by which all edible mushrooms can be identified.
People who collect mushrooms for consumption are known as mycophagists, and the act of collecting them for such is known as mushroom hunting, or simply "mushrooming".
Dried girolle mushrooms
Dried mushrooms are a very useful ingredient to have in your kitchen. They have an almost infinite shelf life. Unless you have access to a very good greengrocer, dried mushrooms are almost the only way to obtain exotic mushroom varieties. Dried mushrooms usually require soaking in boiled water for an hour to return them to an edible state (the liquor they have been soaked in is a great addition to stocks and sauces) Dried mushrooms usually have a stronger flavour than their fresh counterpart. A Chinese, or ethnic food wholesaler such as Seewoo is a good place to find some really unusual dried and fresh mushrooms that may be required for Chinese recipes.
Varieties of mushrooms
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This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.'
Wild mushrooms are at their best and in season during the following months: September, October & November.
5 a day; fruit and vegetable portion sizes
We have recently started to take delivery of a weekly organic fruit and vegetable box which has of course heightened our interest in the 5 a day fruit and vegetable regime. This simple app will show you what makes up one of your 5 a day portions of vegetables. You'll be surprised how small the quantities are in some instances. You'll be able to eat healthier and feel all the better for it.
Select a fruit or vegetable from the picker below to see what its daily portion consists of
What are you waiting for? Pick your fruit and veg now!
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned Ackee
2 Globe Artichoke hearts
7 spears of tinned asparagus
5 spears of fresh asparagus
One third of an Aubergine/Eggplant
3 heaped tablespoons of barlotti beans
3 heaped tablespoons of black-eyed beans
3 heaped tablespoons of broad beans
3 heaped tablespoons of butter beans
3 heaped tablespoons of cannellini beans
4 heaped tablespoons of French beans
3 heaped tablespoons of kidney beans
3 heaped tablespoons of pinto beans
4 heaped tablespoons of runner beans
3 heaped tablespoons of soya beans
2 handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
3 whole bottled beetroot
3 whole fresh baby beetroot
2 spears of broccoli
8 Brussels sprouts
3 heaped tablespoons of butternut squash
2 handfuls of sliced cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of shredded cabbage
3 heaped tablespoons of tinned carrots
3 heaped tablespoons of fresh carrot slices
8 florets of cauliflower
3 sticks of celery
3 heaped tablespoons of chickpeas
One fifth of a head of Chinese leaves
Half a large courgette
5 cm (2 inch) piece of cucumber
4 heaped tablespoons of curly kale
Half a karela (bitter melon)
1 leek (white portion only)
3 tablespoons of lentils
1 cereal bowl of lettuce (mixed leaves)
1 handful of mange-tout
3 heaped tablespoons of marrow
3 tablespoons of frozen mixed vegetables
2 tablespoons of dried mushrooms
16 medium Okra
1 medium Onion
3 heaped tablespoons of pak choi (Chinese cabbage)