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Mushroom Facts

Books about mushrooms

Mushrooms are a low-calorie food usually eaten raw or cooked to provide garnish to a meal. Raw dietary mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, and the essential minerals, selenium, copper and potassium. Fat, carbohydrate and calorie content are low, with absence of vitamin C and sodium

When exposed to ultraviolet light, natural ergosterols in mushrooms produce vitamin D2, a process now exploited for the functional food retail market.

Known as the meat of the vegetable world, edible mushrooms are used extensively in cooking, in many cuisines (notably Chinese, Korean, European, and Japanese).
Most mushrooms that are sold in supermarkets have been commercially grown on mushroom farms. The most popular of these, Agaricus bisporus, is considered safe for most people to eat because it is grown in controlled, sterilized environments. Several varieties of A. bisporus are grown commercially, including whites, crimini, and portobello. Other cultivated species now available at many grocers include shiitake, maitake or hen-of-the-woods, oyster, and enoki. In recent years increasing affluence in developing countries has led to a considerable growth in interest in mushroom cultivation, which is now seen as a potentially important economic activity for small farmers.

There are a number of species of mushroom that are poisonous and, although some resemble certain edible species, consuming them could be fatal. Eating mushrooms gathered in the wild is risky and should not be undertaken by individuals not knowledgeable in mushroom identification, unless the individuals limit themselves to a relatively small number of good edible species that are visually distinctive. A. bisporus contains carcinogens called hydrazines, the most abundant of which is agaritine. However, the carcinogens are destroyed by moderate heat when cooking.

More generally, and particularly with gilled mushrooms, separating edible from poisonous species requires meticulous attention to detail; there is no single trait by which all toxic mushrooms can be identified, nor one by which all edible mushrooms can be identified. Additionally, even edible mushrooms may produce an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals, from a mild asthmatic response to severe anaphylactic shock.

Historically, mushrooms have long had medicinal uses, especially in traditional Chinese medicine. Mushrooms have been a subject of modern medical research since the 1960s, where most modern medical studies concern the use of mushroom extracts, rather than whole mushrooms. Only a few specific mushroom extracts have been extensively tested for efficacy. Polysaccharide-K and lentinan are among the mushroom extracts with the firmest evidence.

Books about mushrooms
 

The Complete Mushroom Book: Savory Recipes for Wild and Cultivated Varieties Book


Buy the Complete Mushroom Book at Amazon

Product Description:
There are not many people who can claim to have been collecting, cooking, and devising recipes for mushrooms for more than sixty years, but Antonio Carluccio is one of them. Carluccio’s interest in mushrooms—his mycological education—began at the age of seven when he went on mushroom hunts with his father and has culminated in his Neal Street Restaurant in London. Today, mushrooms are more popular then ever. Chefs everywhere use these delectable morsels to provide a powerful punch of flavor, without adding many calories or fat. The book begins with a complete field guide, in which forty species are identified with photos. To ensure safety, poisonous look-alike species are also meticulously documented. Then comes a veritable feast of more than 150 mushroom recipes—from classic Italian preparations to Asian-inspired creations and contemporary dishes. Mouthwatering photos accompany each recipe and evoke the earthy sensuality that only mushrooms can bring to the table. In The Complete Mushroom Book, Antonio Carluccio shares the excitement of the hunt and a lifetime of expertise in the kitchen with a new generation of enthusiasts eager to reap the pleasures of cooking with mushrooms.
 

Humpty Dumpty Health Book
Humpty Dumpty's Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids

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