Every Tuesday we’ll give up an update on our mushroom stock, via Twitter on the hashtag #mushroomstock, so you’ll know what’s available before the weekend hits. Follow us on Twitter for further updates
Have yourself a mushroomy little Christmas
The time has come – you have done it again: it’s a week till Christmas and the pine needles are gathering quite nicely under the tree instead of all those parcels and presents you planned.
But never fear, we have rounded up some of our favourite mushroom-themed presents (there are more out there than you might think) and you can order them in last minute. Phew. If your loved ones don’t like mushrooms, this may be a gentle way to persuade them to the light… Here’s our mushroomy Christmas present countdown.
10: Yes, we all know you can get mushroom growing packs by now, but we have found some more unusual offers for you. Look at these lovely pink oyster mushrooms that your chosen recipient will have blossoming in their kitchens within a matter of weeks. The mushrooms keep their colour when lightly blanched and refreshed in cold water and added to an Asian salad or pretty and tasty popped to a soup just before you serve. You can order the the Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit (£19.99) from Qwerkity and next day delivery is available. They also have a chestnut mushroom growing set.
9: Dot Com Gift Shop has this eraser mushroom pot for the kids (or creative grown-ups) for £2.95 https://www.dotcomgiftshop.com/mushroom-eraser-set
8: A mug for all seasons, this trendy enamel mushroom mug has various mushroom varieties illustrated upon it, so you can sort out your highly poisonous fly agarics from your field mushrooms and girolles (the clue is in the bright-red-and-white-spots warning, by the way). Pop into Debenhams and pick one up for £8 or get standard delivery online up to 20th December or next-day delivery up to the 23rd.
7: It’s not too late to turn that Christmas tree all Nordic (well, more so than it naturally already is, that is), and get some festive toadstools in the decoration mix. We have been particularly enjoying some mushroom fairy lights (£6.70) and toadstool baubles (£6.95). You can get them both from Amazon on next day delivery.
6: Light up someone’s life this Christmas with this cute LED toadstool lamp for £3.95 from Dot Com Gift Shop with option of speedy tracked delivery.
5: If you are looking to splash out on that nursery-must for any children in your life or maybe just want to freak Christmas guests out by recreating a forest in the corner of your living room, this Red Mushroom Kids Stool (£85, from cuckooland.com) is the way to go. Cute and fun, this ‘stool is also based on the poisonous fry agaric, so make sure children know it’s neither cute or fun in real life (that will be a nice Christmas message for the card).
4: At last something immediately edible! But not quite mushrooms, they are very good chocolates shaped as mushrooms for that mushroom fanatic in everyway. With the rather grand name of Les Champignons Caramel Chocolate Mushrooms for £6.45, plus postage and packaging, you can get next day delivery up until 22nd December, if you order before 4pm, and ‘supersaver’ delivery until 19th.
3: White truffle oil is a real treat – and what better way to say I care? Take your pick of sets and single bottles from Amazon here.
2: Is that mushroom lover in your life stressed? Well, we have the perfect solution – the matsutake stress mushroom. Rubbery and malleable, and a tenth of the price of a real-life prized matsutake at £9.99. You can get this on next day delivery up until 20th December. What are you waiting for?
1: And, this lovely find, has to be our number one. It’s only mushroom earrings. Perfect for that special woman or man (just one mushroom earring is going to be very now in 2017). From jewellery designer Bill Skinner, these Mushroom Stud Earrings are rose gold and a steal at £29.95 (next day delivery available). You are welcome.
So, there’s nothing much more to say except, get shopping, and have a very mushroomy Christmas. Mushroom Man is closed over the Christmas period from the night of the 24th December and reopen Tuesday 27th December night.
21/10/2016 Autumn in full swing
And all of a sudden it’s Autumn. Well, as most of you will know, Autumn is mushroom central when it comes to the market, so when it takes its time to get here, it feels like you’re a kid buy generic tramadol waiting for Christmas. Nothing but seeing those real Autumn-time ceps (also known as porcini and pictured below) standing proud with their archetypal stout creamy steams and large, yellow pored and chestnut- or mahogany-coloured umbrella caps will do. Almost indescribable in taste, there’s a reason most chefs go mad for these meaty and umami full mushrooms, and at their best time of the season, they are not to be missed.
Our best this year have arrived just lately, with French supply coming in and knocking our socks off for the last couple of weeks in both taste and quality. We still have some, so it’s worth popping in/emailing/DMing on Twitter/whatever gets you to us.
Of course, it’s not all about the mighty cep, although it is known as the king of the mushroom world. We’ve had some lovely signals that Autumn is on its way, along the way. Flushes of Caesar mushroom from Serbia, some wonderful coral-like, wild sparassis (also known as the cauliflower mushroom, for obvious reasons when you look at the things) and the bright orange saffron milk caps have been a view of the more lesser-known mushrooms we have the pleasure of having for a few weeks or so before they disappear again for another year, as well as the more popular Autumn staples: chanterelles, pied de mouton and trompette.
But we have been keeping busy in the wait up to Autumn. We have been getting a good of lovely different coloured oyster mushrooms (yellow-gold, pictured, and pinks) as well as shiitake from a new growing facility in Kosovo, which I went over to check out at its opening in June. A great experience to walk around, these mushroom-growing facilities really are more like factories and a massive feat of engineering and financial investment.
In other news (and another thing that has been keeping us very busy) The Mushroom Cookbook is nearly done! Published by Lorenz Publishing, our book covers both 30 or so in depth profiles of the most used wild and cultivated mushrooms, as well as 55 step-by-step mushroom recipes, going through the seasons. We hope it’s going to be a https://health-e-child.org/buy-modvigil-online/ good-quality go-to book for all: people in the mushroom industry, chefs, mushroom enthusiasts and everyday foodies. A collaboration between food writer and recipe developer Liz O’Keefe and myself, it’s taken us about two years to get together all the information, wait for each and every mushroom we needed to photograph and recipe develop with, and generally make sure we’ve got it right so, hopefully, it will be something we can be proud of going forward and help and inspire any readers. We are on the final proof-reading stage now, so it won’t be long. Do get in touch if you want to reserve a copy.
We’ve also been involved in some mushroom supper clubs this year, to publicise the book, get people eating more mushrooms and raise a bit of money for charity in the meantime. They are seven-course affairs, with paired alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, held at the Crisis Cafe in Aldgate, London and put together by Liz. The next one is 26th November, and celebrating winter foods. Tickets are available here – we hope to see you there!
All for now,
26/04/2016 Spring is here for sure
19/12/2014 All I want for Christmas…
As Christmas nears, it seems to me that, as mushroom enthusiasts, this glorious autumn has been the best present we could have asked for. The mild start to the season in Europe, just after a pleasant summer, made for bumper wild mushroom crops, and then the cold hit to the start of winter has brought on that all-important demand for warm and comforting food that our mushrooms play such a key role in.
There has been a massive demand for mushrooms over the last month, as chefs in their multitudes have been putting all kinds of fungi on the menu. With the demand comes shortages, but, luckily, we can cater for all, with enough cultivated regulars like chestnuts, oysters and enoki, and our array and volume of seasonal offers. So far, the chefs (and the rock stars – but that’s another story…) have been happy.
Leading up to Christmas the availability of wild mushrooms will be fairly stable (make the most of it!), apart from a few varieties possibly ending early over the next two to three months due to viagra online inevitable frosts. The chefs’ mushroom royalty, girolle, trompette and chanterelle, will soon only be available from the US. Chefs do not tend to go for US product, as it’s travelled a fair few miles already and their romance is with the European season. So wild mushrooms will be even more sought after, if you can get hold of them at all after the new year. Then March will hit us with (here’s hoping) the mighty morel (the mushroom of last year), St George’s and mousseron, initially from Turkey and Bulgaria.
Here at Mushroom Man, we will be working day and night as usual to keep our Christmas grotto open up until Christmas eve night. We close at 8am on 24th and then open Boxing day at 12am and we are also closed New Year’s Eve night. Even mushrooms need a rest, but don’t hesitate to let us know if you are having trouble getting hold of anything and we will do our upmost to help – seasonal produce allowing, of course.
Meanwhile, whilst the mushrooms are having a silent night in the grotto back in New Covent Garden Market, my family will be sitting down to a mushroom-led feast as usual. If there are fresh ceps – Morocco has just finished its season, so fingers crossed South African ceps will come in time (although we do have frozen) – we will have them as a nibble with slices of jamon and pardon peppers, before we sit down to the main feast.
In my book, the more simple the cep recipe, the better. To serve about six of us, I pan fry some finely sliced ceps (about 400g) with a clove of crushed garlic and 1 tbsp (or more) olive oil. After they turn a lovely colour, I squeeze half a lemon in and add a dash of sherry (it is Christmas, after all), reduce it slightly, then finish it all off with a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley. It’s a family tradition and it certainly keeps the troops happy!
So, although I am very thankful of the early Christmas presents autumn brought, all I want for Christmas are some nice fresh ceps – South Africa, I hope you’re reading – and to wish you health and happiness in this festive period. But, most importantly, lots of mushrooms.
Happy Christmas everyone,
14/10/2014 Autumn Days
Long may these autumn days last – it’s been another full and plentiful week down in the mushroom grotto in New Covent Garden Market, and the season just keeps on getting better and better.
We started off in September with some glorious examples of puff balls – and the chefs and suppliers alike were going crazy over them, with some the size of their heads (if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all, remember).
Our favourites on Twitter came from Suffolk-based The Fritton Arms’ chef Jason Wight and grower and supplier Frederick Hiam. We traded some great puff balls from Norfolk and customers couldn’t get enough.
Of course, every autumn brings the amateur mushroom pickers out into the forests throughout Europe and, maybe it’s the current trend for food foraging that hasn’t helped, but related illness and even deaths seem to be on the up this year. We love mushrooms (clearly), but they are not worth risking your life for. We cannot stress enough, that if you are not sure about a mushroom out in the wild, then do not eat it.
On a lighter note, at home or on-site restaurant mushroom growing is making a big comeback and oyster mushrooms seem to be the mushroom of the moment… Pink oyster mushroom growing kits are now available (see website Food Rhythms for a review) and Devon social enterprise, GroCycle has been using leftover coffee grinds to grow protein-rich oyster mushrooms for that sustainable offer.
Come the third week of September we had some sparassis or ‘cauliflower mushrooms’ (much easier to pronounce) in stock, in relatively good volumes for a niche item.
These spongy, creamy coloured mushrooms look like they belong in the sea and we think they’d be a good pairing for sea veg, like monk’s beard and samphire, and some meaty fried squid in the kitchen…
The short Caesar mushroom season saw buyers snap them up almost before they hit the mushroom grotto. These small, rounded brick-red coloured mushrooms are nutty and wholesome – and great for autumnal soups and stews, as well as with game dishes.
Now it’s mid-October, we’ve got some great quality sliced ceps from Romania, some whole meaty ceps that would grace any restaurant’s plate from Portugal, some beautiful Swedish grey chanterelles and there’s a great deal of good-sized Croatian pied de mouton, from sources such as Bosnia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Scottish girolle, as well as girolle from other places in Europe (Poland and Russia, to name a few), has been spectacular this season, despite the lack of rain in Scotland mid-September. The mushroom’s golden colour has been a joy in both the mushroom grotto and on the plates of restaurants through out Greater London. But, be warned: like all good things, this can’t last forever. We only have three weeks to make the most of good European girolle before the season ends and US replacements come from afar – losing their freshness along the way.
We also have some small girolle from Bosnia – handy for a textured and tasty stuffing. How about pheasant stuffed with girolles, crushed cobnuts and blackberries? Autumn is indeed the best season. Happy mushrooming.
15/02/2014 Happy Morel Day!
The exciting news this week was that the new-season Turkish morels arrived, signalling the start of spring – believe it or not… They came into the market Tuesday (11/02) night and caused quite a rush in demand. The start of the season certainly made our Valentine’s Day! We have limited availability at the moment, but we think we will have more in stock by next week.
There were a lot of eyringii (king oyster) on show at Berlin’s fruit and vegetable exhibition Fruit Logistica, last week, which isn’t surprising, as I believe there is a massive demand for them when there aren’t any ceps available. We always have cultivated eyringii available from Korea or China. It’s a great sturdy mushroom to cook with and a handy replacement for meat in meatless dishes as it has so much texture to it.
I have been to an eyringii farm in Korea and they are more like factories than farms. The mushrooms grow in pint-sized jars – all temperature and humidity controlled – that, in the end, produce virtually the same-sized mushrooms out of each jar. There are thousands of them stacked up – it’s quite a sight!
Dutch coral mushroom, which are very delicate and sea coral like, were found at Fruit Logistica this year. We can get them for our customers, but they are available only on a buy-to-order basis, as there has not been a lot of demand to date.
Our picture of pink oyster mushrooms caused quite a stir at the show and was featured in Eurofruit’s 100 stories from Fruit Logistica 2014. Thanks guys! The real credit should go to Fresh Mushroom Europe (Fme) for bringing the great example of the mushroom to Berlin for all to see!
28/01/2014 Chanterelle takes centre stage…
With Turkish morel mushrooms still only 2 weeks away (fingers crossed), the best-quality mushroom on the market is the grey chanterelle. It’s great value at the moment and excellent-quality. Pied de mouton continue to come through and there are some Portuguese girolle available, although they are nothing on the long awaited Macedonian or Greek girolle, which will be along in April, as normal.
Going away from wild, Pied Bleu – not actually wild but grown in caves – is grown year round and stock is available now.