Apparently it’s Mushroom Month……….
Being a versatile and popular ingredient in curry, we’ve decided to investigate what makes mushrooms so popular – they are fungus after all. So here’s some background history and ideas for future recipes…
In 1990 the U.S National Mushroom Council was set up with a view to promoting and honouring mushrooms worldwide. One outcome of this being that September is now heralded as ‘National Mushroom Month’ the world over.
So… WHY mushrooms?
Well ancient Egyptians believed mushrooms to have an immortal quality, and were celebrated as ‘the food of the gods’. Their delicious flavour intrigued the Pharaohs of Egypt so much so that they decreed mushrooms to be the food for royalty, meaning that no common man should ever be able to touch them.
There was a popular belief that mushrooms had properties to generate super-human strength, granting help when trying to find lost objects, and lead the soul to the realm of the gods.
Today however, mushrooms are celebrated in a very different way, not only are they glorified in an annual mushroom festival – held in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania, U.S (otherwise known as ‘The Mushroom Capital of the World’), they are also recognised for a whole range of different qualities, namely their ‘Umami’ attribute.
This property is the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour, giving them a savoury or ‘meaty’ quality – making them perfect to adapt to any kind of dish as a meat alternative.
Not only are mushrooms a great swap for meat, they are the only fresh fruit or vegetable containing vitamin D, they are fat free and are low in calories, as well as delivering the antioxidants to deliver a healthy immune system.
Adding to this they have a great flavour, are cheap and have over 10’000 variations. So with this much going for them why don’t you try adding them to a classic curry dish or try a traditional masala recipe with a mushroom twist which will be a featured recipe later this month…
As always, if you have a great recipe you want to share – please drop us a line