Central Market Introduces New Exotic Mushroom Varieties Grown in Stores at Select Locations
Central Market is now growing its own exotic mushrooms in select store locations including Dallas Preston-Royal, Austin North Lamar, Austin Westgate, Southlake, San Antonio and Houston. Varieties will include Blue Oyster, King Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms. The select mushrooms will be grown in specialty temperature and humidity-controlled cases, or mini farms, which mimic a damp shaded forest floor. The internal temperature of these cases is kept at 60 to 65 degrees and 80 to 90 percent relative humidity, like it’s about to rain. These wood-loving varieties are grown in special bags of sawdust which allows the mycelium (the mushroom’s roots) to take hold. Due to the delicate and short-shelf life of these exotics, they are best consumed when taken straight from the growing source and enjoyed that day. These cases allow customers the freshest and best eating experience.
A few notes about these varieties:
Blue Oyster Mushrooms
· The Blue Oyster mushroom grows in large clusters, which start out with deep blue coloring and eventually turn grey as they age.
· The fruit is usually thick and meaty and very versatile for culinary uses.
· Blue Oyster mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes, especially sautées, soups and pastas. The flavor is unique and delicious.
· The stems of these mushrooms can be chewy, and you may want to avoid using the stems in most dishes.
· This mushroom’s name comes from the resemblance it has to a bivalve mollusk found in the ocean.
· Oyster mushrooms also contain a plethora of valuable constituents, like proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamin B and vitamin D. Iron and potassium are also present in these mushrooms.
· They have a very short shelf life and should be used immediately. If it is not possible to use the mushrooms immediately, they should be stored in a paper bag or between paper towels.
King Oyster Mushrooms
· These are also known as King Trumpet Mushrooms.
· King Oyster mushrooms have a deliciously meaty texture and savory flavor.
· They are the largest of the oyster mushroom genus and, unlike other oyster mushrooms, their stalks aren’t tough and woody to eat. Instead, they’re hailed for their meaty texture and umami flavor.
· Native to the Mediterranean, they are perhaps most used in Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean; three countries where the mushroom is cultivated on a large scale.
· They don’t lose its shape when cooked. The texture is sometimes likened to scallops, which makes them an interesting option for vegetarians and are often billed as ‘mushroom steaks’ or ‘vegan scallops.
· They hold up well in soups and stir fries and are terrific when cooked as tempura.
· Choose mushrooms with firm, unblemished stems and the caps are quite delicate so be sure to select unbroken ones if you’re after beautiful presentation.
· Try sautéing in some butter until golden brown or try it in a stir fry. It also grills and barbecues well.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
· Lion’s mane mushrooms are white, globe-shaped fungi and are also known as pom pom mushrooms.
· Lion’s Mane has a very absorbent, soft, spongy texture (think a giant ball of Wonder Bread). Inside, its structure is like cauliflower with branches extending of a singular base. These branches can be pulled apart, just like tearing off pieces of bread.
· In many cultures, Lion’s Mane is used medicinally, but they’re just as incredible as a culinary mushroom.
· There are endless ways to cook them. Sauté them with garlic, serve them poached over grilled steaks, or add them to a sauce to top a bowl of pasta.
· What does a lion’s mane mushroom taste like? When it’s cooked, this variety of mushroom is delicate, tender, juicy and meaty. Some people say it tastes like seafood or crab meat.
· Use them as a seafood substitute in “lobster” mac and cheese, or “crab” cakes, sauté with butter and garlic for a delicious side dish, dehydrate and pulverize them to add into smoothies for a cognitive boost. Sauté and throw on top of pizza for a gourmet twist. The sky’s the limit!
(This Philanthropy Lifestyles eBuzz photos and post courtesy Central Market.)