6 Things You Didn’t Know About Australian Mushrooms
New research by Australian Mushrooms revealed more than half of Aussies (59%) have improved their diet and eating habits over the last 12 months – with 63% admitting to preparing more meals at home.
Owing to Aussies’ love for cooking with the best ingredients nature has to offer, we’re highlighting the versatility of the ‘Mighty Mushie’ by sharing six things you never knew about these humble fungi.
1. The Similarities Between Meat & Mushrooms
What makes the mushroom a great alternative to meat is the similarities between the two. The dark, fragrant gills of the mushroom has a taste and consistency that is reminiscent of meat, not to mention mushrooms have a unique flavour known as ‘umami’. Umami gives the mushroom a dense, savoury taste that enriches and enhances the taste of a meal when cooked and added to a dish. If you’re looking for more of a flexitarian approach to your diet, substitute mushrooms for meat to reduce your overall meat consumption.
2. Neither Fruit Nor Vegetable
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the humble mushroom is a part of the vegetable or fruit kingdom, but the truth is, they belong to a kingdom all of their own. The mushroom is in fact a Fungus where, unlike other vegetables, they don’t contain that natural compound that other plants do that helps them absorb energy from the sun. Instead, mushrooms draw the nutrients they need from the root systems of living plants.
3. Number One Way Aussies Like To Eat Their Mushrooms
Mushrooms have an amazing, versatile quality to them, making them the perfect product to pair with any meal. Despite all the ways you can prepare them, the number one tried and tested way Aussies like to consume their Mushies, according to Australian Mushrooms, is in a stir-fry. This is closely followed by adding them to a fresh salad.
4. Portobello, Button and Cups? What’s the difference
While they look vastly different, what you might not know is that Portobello, Button and Cups are all part of the same mushroom; however, to get the different varieties they are harvested at different stages. Portobello, Button and Cups are just some of the varieties of mushrooms available in Australia, other popular varieties you would find at your local grocer include Swiss Brown and Flats.
5. Mushrooms Are Super Versatile
What is great about the mushroom is how versatile it is. There are so many different varieties, with each having its own distinct properties, all of which work best for different meals. For example, Buttons are the perfect fungi for most pasta, pizzas and soups, whereas Portobellos are a natural choice for grilling on the BBQ owing to not only their size but also best for replicating a burger or steak.
6. Mushrooms Aren’t Grown In The Ground
When we think of how mushrooms are grown, our minds naturally think of fields and fields of mushrooms, similar to how other fresh produce is grown. However, most mushrooms that end up on our supermarket shelves are actually grown indoors, on vertical farms and in warm conditions. As they are grown indoors in a controlled climate, they are incredibly climate resistant and can be farmed all year round for Aussies to enjoy.
Mixed Mushrooms & Pork Shoulder Ragu
- 1 kg mixed mushrooms
- 500 gm pork shoulder ragu
- 3 granny smith apples
- 500 gm fresh fennel
- 500 gm onion
- 3 long red chilli
- 2 tbsp garlic - crushed
- 2.5 Lt chicken stock
- 250 ml red wine
- Place pork shoulder, diced apples, 500ml chicken stock and 100ml red wine on a lined baking tray and cover with foil. Slow cook for 10+ hours overnight.
- In the cooking pot, cook mushroom, fresh fennel, onion, garlic, bay leaf and chilli until softened.
- Add the rest of chicken stock, red wine and drained cooking liquid from pork shoulder to the cooking pot. Simmer to reduce the liquid.
- add the pulled pork shoulder to the pot, mix everything well.
- Serve ragu with pasta or mash.
6 Things You Didn’t Know About Australian Mushrooms 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Australian Mushrooms 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Australian Mushrooms