September is National Mushroom Month, so we asked St. Peter Food Co-op Produce Manager Stephanie about some of her favorite fungi. Tell us about yours in the comments!
According to Stephanie, not all mushrooms are created equal. They all have varying flavor profiles and textures. If you find yourself not liking the standard Buttons or thick Portabellas, give something more delicate like a Maitake or Oyster a try.
Chanterelle mushrooms are a real treat and work perfectly in a (simple or garlicy) cream sauce tossed with pasta. They’re best when fresh, but dried will get the job done too, and you have a nice gold liquid to use in your sauce! The Co-op carries dried Chanterelles from Minnesota-based Forest Mushrooms, Inc., along with dried Oysters, Porcinis, Shiitakes, and Stir Fry Blend. Check out their guide to rehydrating and storing dried mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms crisp up nicely when fried and can be used in anything—
similar to bacon. My favorite is a simple saute in butter with salt and pepper, placed atop delicious toast (like River Rock Multigrain or Sourdough, maybe even with a fried egg). Rebel Rooster Farm is located in Blue Thunder, MN—
check out their recipe for Balsamic Mushroom Pasta
Maitakes are fairly mild and earthy, with a spongy texture. Also known as Hen of the Woods, they’re great for adding depth of flavor to soups. They’ll make the best cream of mushroom soup you’ve ever had (dried Porcinis also make for great homemade cream of mushroom soup for your Thanksgiving green bean casserole). The Co-op should be getting some fresh Maitakes in from Forest to Fork
later this week.
Shiitakes are popular and play well with Asian-inspired dishes. It’s nice that we are able to source them from Minnesota. Popular for making mushroom jerky, too! This vegan version of classic spaghetti carbonara sounds divine: Pasta Carbonara with “Shiitake Bacon”
Chicken of the Woods
Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are my absolute favorite, but they have been hard to come by this year. Yes, they taste like chicken! Sometimes Forest to Fork, or Forest Mushrooms Inc. will have them and when they do, the Co-op carries them during their short window of availability. But, if local foragers are certified, we can buy Chicken of the Woods and Morels and other wild mushrooms found locally! The State of MN
& Minnesota Mycological Society
identifies the specifics on becoming a certified forager and seller. We cannot and will not purchase any wild foraged mushrooms without this certification.
Stop by the St. Peter Food Co-op to pick up your favorite mushrooms and consider becoming a Co-op owner to support our community.