Mushrooms fall into the culinary category of things people eitherlove or hate. The fruiting bodies of edible fungi (doesn’t that sound delicious?) come in hundreds of varieties beyond the common white buttonmushroom in most stores. Portobello, crimini, shiitake, morel and oystermushrooms are prized for their unique flavours and textures, and arebecoming more widely grown and available, fresh and dried, right here inAlberta. Their dense, meaty earthiness is appreciated by vegetarians andcarnivores, alike — meat-free dishes are made heartier with mushroomsand frugal cooks can use them to stretch small quantities of meat further.
Because mushrooms are mostly water, they add moisture, flavour andtexture to dishes. Mushrooms store well — fresh do best in a paper bag in thefridge, and dried keep nicely in an airtight container — making them perfectto add to your roster of locally grown winter vegetables. — Julie;Van;Rosendaal