"Mushrooms, morels and truffles are among the most primitive of our foodstuffs," writes Harold McGee in his classic tome On Food and Cooking.
The common white mushroom's cultivation only began in 17th century France - incredibly recent compared to other common foods. Truffle cultivation is more recent again, beginning only in the mid-1970s, again in France. Most mushrooms are still gathered from the wild but an increasing number of varieties are cultivated successfully indoors, year-round, offering the opportunity to compare flavours and textures. It's also no secret that mushrooms offer an excellent substitute for meat.
Although wild mushrooms are frequently an autumnal joy, cultivated mushrooms' year-round availability means you can enjoy them in all sorts of dishes including summer ones.
In our VFMA network we're fortunate to enjoy the work of many good mushroom growers, right across the state. Ask experienced growers like Craig McKenzie from Sunrise Park Mushrooms in northern Victoria for tips on preparing them or check out these great summer mushroom recipes yourself. Stock up at your next farmers' market and try something new!
As we roll in to the new year, from the Victorian Farmers' Markets Association, we wish you and your families a very happy and enjoyable 2022!