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All Things Mushroom


liuzhou

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I live in the heart of mushroom farming/industry near Kennett Square, PA; which claims to be the producer of more mushrooms than anywhere in the universe.

Its a different kind of farming, taking place all indoors and it goes on all year round, harvesting daily except Christmas, 364 days a year.

 

They are grown in sheds made of cinderblock that are climate controlled and contain shelf upon shelf of trays of growing spawn.

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One of the reasons for the concentration around KS is that t he support industries are all right there and can cheaply service multiple operations. Biggest of them are the companies who make mushroom soil which is a mixture of various plants and a bit of manure that get composted for months. Before mushrooms see it it is pasteurized to remove any remnants of poo bacteria. The result is a black loamy product that the fungi adore, but is too rich for many plants. If you want to spread spent mushroom soil on your lawn it must age for a few months in the rain to cool it down lest it burn your grass.

 

The composting used to smell horrible if the wind blew the wrong way, but they've gotten the stink out of it somehow.

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Besides the growers and suppliers there are the packers, like this place who kindly has a fridge full of ultra fresh fungi for sale to civilians at great prices.

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Edited by gfweb (log)
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53 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

I live in the heart of mushroom farming/industry near Kennett Square, PA; which claims to be the producer of more mushrooms than anywhere in the universe.

 

 

While it is probably the biggest producer in the USA, I doubt it is the biggest in the world. I can't speak for the universe.

 

I  do know that China is by far the world's largest producer (eighteen times more than the USA) and largest consumer and have seen gigantic mushroom growing facilities. Even tiny Italy grows more than the USA. Poland is the largest producer in Europe.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

 

While it is probably the biggest producer in the USA, I doubt it is the biggest in the world. I can't speak for the universe.

 

I  do know that China is by far the world's largest producer (eighteen times more than the USA) and largest consumer and have seen gigantic mushroom growing facilities. Even tiny Italy grows more than the USA. Poland is the largest producer in Europe.

 

You will note I said "claims"

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9 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

You will note I said "claims"

 

Yes, I noted it wasn't your claim, but theirs.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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2 hours ago, gfweb said:

I live in the heart of mushroom farming/industry near Kennett Square, PA; which claims to be the producer of more mushrooms than anywhere in the universe.

 

Ah, yes, Kennett Square.  Brings back olfactory memories,  My late, long ex parents-in-law had a farm there in the '60's and '70's.

 

@liuzhou are all China's mushrooms grown in a town that's one square mile (259 hectares)?

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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Not as such, but that is not the point.  They are claiming to be the largest in the world. They aren't. That they supply 47% of the US mushrooms (not all) is irrelevant to their world size ranking.

 

There are several mushroom production places a lot bigger than one square mile. Think more like ten.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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56 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Yes, I noted it wasn't your claim, but theirs.

 

Guessing based on general PA experience, but it seems most likely there isn't much going on to be proud of other than mushroom creation, so they inflate their importance a little to try for some tourist dollars and so the place feels more interesting to live. There's plenty of small towns in PA like that, especially if they previously lost some other big industry like steel or coal.

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14 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Not as such, but that is not the point.  They are claiming to be the largest in the world. They aren't. That they supply 47% of the US mushrooms (not all) is irrelevant to their world size ranking.

 

There are several mushroom production places a lot bigger than one square mile. Think more like ten.

 

Yes, but they are claiming to be the largest mushroom producing town, not the largest mushroom producing country.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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5 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Yes, but they are claiming to be the largest mushroom producing town, not the largest mushroom producing country.

 

 

Yes, but they aren't the largest! There are several towns in China producing many more mushrooms. One supplies 10% of the world's supply.

Edited by liuzhou
typo (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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13 minutes ago, quiet1 said:

 

Guessing based on general PA experience, but it seems most likely there isn't much going on to be proud of other than mushroom creation, so they inflate their importance a little to try for some tourist dollars and so the place feels more interesting to live. There's plenty of small towns in PA like that, especially if they previously lost some other big industry like steel or coal.

 

Believe me, this is not a tourist area.  And there never was any steel or coal.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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1 minute ago, liuzhou said:

 

Yes, but they larger aren't! There are several towns in China producing many more mushrooms. One supplies 120% of the world's supply.

 

Where does the surplus 20% go?

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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1 minute ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Believe me, this is not a tourist area.  And there never was any steel or coal.

 

 

I think that tends to make it worse. Ex-steel towns at least like to brag about "we made the steel for Cool Thing." We've run into a variety of interesting claims on road trips, I usually don't stress about accuracy and figure whatever helps people feel better about where they live.

 

Do they have a Mushroom Festival? It rather seems like they should.

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1 minute ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Where does the surplus 20% go?

 

 

Obviously a typo. Edited. 10%

 

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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6 minutes ago, quiet1 said:

 

I think that tends to make it worse. Ex-steel towns at least like to brag about "we made the steel for Cool Thing." We've run into a variety of interesting claims on road trips, I usually don't stress about accuracy and figure whatever helps people feel better about where they live.

 

Do they have a Mushroom Festival? It rather seems like they should.

 

Don't know.  Haven't been down there in many, many years.  I do know that where I live in central New Jersey most if not all mushrooms come from Kennett Square.

 

All I really know is that they produce a lot of mushrooms and in the last century the whole place smelled of manure.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

Whatever you crave, there's a dumpling for you. -- Hsiao-Ching Chou

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44 minutes ago, quiet1 said:

Do they have a Mushroom Festival? It rather seems like they should.

 

It rather seems that they do. But you just missed it.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Back on track...

 

I picked about 3lbs of Elm Oyster mushrooms and now that we have had our first frost, the little critters don't appear to be getting to them as quickly (less stock, more eating!) which is great.

 

Prepared as noted above and CONVERTED a few of those in the 'dry sear' camp as they tasted these 1/3 inch thick sliced beauties, comments like 'this is luscious, almost has the consistency of a rare steak!' were heard. 

 

I challenge any other cooking method to produce as flavorful a shroom to be had!

 

 

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Most certainly not, kind sir/ma'am.

 

I was taught by one of the better chef's in Toronto many moons ago re: the low volume of fat & high heat sear method.  I explained in slight more detail previously in the thread.

 

The mushrooms come out toasted brown on both sides, with a soft, meaty interior.  It didn't hurt that the mushrooms were picked not 3 hours prior.

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On 29/10/2017 at 2:18 AM, quiet1 said:

 

I think that tends to make it worse. Ex-steel towns at least like to brag about "we made the steel for Cool Thing." We've run into a variety of interesting claims on road trips, I usually don't stress about accuracy and figure whatever helps people feel better about where they live.

 

It's at least something. A couple of towns in my native Nova Scotia proudly proclaim that they're exactly halfway between the North Pole and the equator, which is perhaps even sadder. 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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On 10/22/2017 at 7:54 AM, Anna N said:

 

I used to make the occasional trip up to Peterborough which is north of here and there was often a “mushroom man” at the farmers’ market where you could get quite an assortment of foraged mushrooms.

The mushroom guy is still there. He has white and cremini mushrooms, portobellos, shitakes and a variety of oyster mushrooms - yellow, white, pink. Very sweet guy - always smiling.

I have a secret foraging spot for porcini mushrooms near me on a friend's property. They grow with insane abandon during good years. Or else they don't come up at all, which has been the case for the past two years. When they're abundant I can fill a bushel basket with them in about an hour. Usually I just have to stop picking because I can't deal with them all before they go wormy. I still have a couple of jars of dried ones from the good years. Hoping next year they come back - I was very disappointed this fall. Mushrooms are a mysterious thing.

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Has anyone figured out how to judge when to go out in search of mushrooms? In Colorado the season is late summer into the fall, but the real question is whether they flush after a soaking rain, and if so, how long after the rain? After a heavy snow year to saturate the ground, with occasional rain to keep it moist? It's the hardest part about mushrooming--when to start looking. Nothing quite so disappointing as finding lots of porcini that are flabby and wormy because we should have been out there a couple of days earlier. I suppose mycologists have their theories.

 

By the way, did you see the story in the food section of the New York Times about amanita muscaria? I thought it made a relatively  poisonous mushroom sound  a little too attractive to neophytes. Plus the author said that they can be mistaken for other members of the family, like Destroying Angel (amanita virosa), which is nonsense. Amanita virosa is an elegant white mushroom--amanita muscaria is chunky and crude in comparison, with what we call cottage cheese all over the red cap. Nothing else looks like that. However our experience is that porcini grow in the same places as the amanita muscaria, so when we find a patch we look closely for porcini. So they're not entirely useless!

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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I noticed the same thing right away. There was absolutely no mention of the fact that the amanita muscaria is not edible--hardly a harmless mistake and very surprising for the NYT. Faeries love those cute red mushrooms with the white polka dots. And that's why faeries are now extinct.

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Don't eat mushrooms fairies live in seems a reasonable idea to hang on to. Although I am not brave enough to go mushrooming at all.

 

on the subject - what mushrooms should we have in-house for last minute dishes? I know porcini dries well, are there any others that are easy to rehydrate and whip up into something tasty like an omelette or pasta?

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For me, duxelles made with any ole' [edible] mushrooms and kept in the freezer perform fine in omelettes or pasta. 

 

The only thing I wouldn't do with frozen already cooked mushrooms is salad.  

 

That's just me, tho.  

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1 hour ago, SLB said:

For me, duxelles made with any ole' [edible] mushrooms and kept in the freezer perform fine in omelettes or pasta. 

 

The only thing I wouldn't do with frozen already cooked mushrooms is salad.  

 

That's just me, tho.  

 

 

I was wondering about dried also - our freezer tends to get a bit crammed so if we can have shelf stable things that's good. Although I usually think of freezing sliced mushrooms, not duxelles. I like that idea. The trick will be to do it when no one else is home so some of it actually gets to the freezer. (My SO will just eat cooked mushrooms right from the fridge as a snack. Maybe with some rice if there is any in the rice cooker.)

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