Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? We don’t need an excuse to celebrate the wonders of fungi, but we’ll take it. All month long, we will be talking about our friends in the mushroom kingdom. And eating plenty of mushrooms too.
Have you seen the new fresh mushrooms at dartagnan.com? We have recently added some chef favorites so that home cooks can enjoy high-quality mushrooms along with their D’Artagnan meats. And mushrooms are 15% off all month! Here’s one of our new organic mushrooms …
The Hon-Shimeji mushroom (Hypsizygus tessellatus) is delicate in appearance, with thin stems about 2 to 3 inches long and brown nickel-sized caps. It grows in small clusters, and the mushrooms should be separated for cooking.
Organic, cultivated mushrooms are the answer to the challenge of foraging for wild edibles. Grown in optimum and pristine conditions, these little mushroom clusters are every bit as satisfying as the wild ones, and much cleaner.
Cooking Hon-Shimeji Mushrooms
Do not rinse mushrooms in water – this can destroy their texture; they absorb moisture like a sponge. Instead, use a brush, cloth or paper towel to remove any unwanted particles. Store mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag; plastic encourages deterioration in quality and texture.
Trim the conjoined ends of the mushroom clusters, removing any residue from the cultivation beds. Both caps and stems are edible, so they can be tossed whole into a sauté pan with vegetables. Stir fry them with duck fat for delectable results.
Combine Hon-Shimeji with shallots and demi-glace to make a rich sauce. But don’t eat Hon-Shimeji raw, as they are quite bitter and their nutritional value is only available when cooked. Chefs love these little mushrooms for their nutty, versatile flavor, and crunchy texture.
Fun Fungi Fact: “Shimeji” is an umbrella name that applies to more 20 different mushrooms and translates roughly as “mushrooms that grow in deep forest during the rainy season.”