Mushrooms are beautiful and versatile. Packed with bracing umami and a texture that makes them the perfect meat decoy, they are the darling of vegetarian cooking. They’re equally winning alongside proteins, where they add elegance and depth of flavor. Think how much better a steak tastes when drizzled with rich mushroom sauce, or a burger is with mushrooms planted in gooey Swiss cheese.
Those assets don’t stop at flavor and texture. Mushrooms have also been recognized for reducing inflammation, improving cognitive function and delivering other health benefits. And lately, growing mushrooms has become a trendy activity among adventurous DIYers.
Local purveyor Maggie Long of Mushroom Maggie’s Farm in St. Francisville reports a big uptick in sales of her mushroom fruiting blocks during the pandemic, particularly among parents who want to teach their homebound kids about the wonderful world of fungi.