Mushrooms have been around for thousands of years. There are over 250 edible mushroom varieties throughout the world however only a few are available in New Zealand. Our most common mushroom varieties include button mushrooms, swiss browns, shiitake, and portabellos. Button mushrooms are the most commonly consumed in New Zealand and are harvested when still small and unopened. Swiss browns have a darker brown top than button mushrooms but look very similar. They have a rich, nutty flavour and are used when a stronger flavour is required. Shiitake mushrooms have a distinctive fresh earthy flavour and aroma and are widely used in Asian cooking. Portabello mushrooms are Swiss brown mushrooms that have been allowed to mature giving them their amazing deeper flavour and distinctive flat shape.
Mushrooms are a great source of biotin and pantothenic acid, dietary fibre, vitamin B6, and potassium.
When storing mushrooms, remove them from plastic packaging and refrigerate them in a paper bag. Mushrooms continue to grow after harvesting and they will respire or ‘sweat’ in plastic bags. Brown paper bags will absorb moisture and keep your mushrooms fresher.
Microwave, barbecue, stir fr, baked, grill, fry or poach.
Mushrooms are very versatile and will add flavour to many dishes. They can be used with meat, in soups, sauces, braises, stews, stir fries, omelettes, pies, salads and on pizzas.