Dallas, Texas-based Central Market will begin growing exotic mushrooms in select stores, including Dallas Preston-Royal, Austin North Lamar, Austin Westgate, Southlake, San Antonio and Houston. Varieties will include Blue Oyster, King Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms.
They will be grown in temperature- and humidity-controlled cases, or mini farms, which mimic a damp, shaded forest floor. The internal temperature of these cases is kept at 60 to 65 degrees and 80 to 90 percent relative humidity. These varieties are grown in special bags of sawdust, which allows the mycelium (roots) to take hold.
Due to the delicate and short-shelf life of these exotics, they are best consumed when taken straight from the growing source and enjoyed that day. These cases allow customers the freshest and best eating experience.
Blue Oyster mushrooms
Blue Oyster mushroom grows in large clusters, which start out with deep blue coloring and eventually turn gray as they age. They can be used in a variety of dishes, especially sautées, soups and pastas. The stems can be chewy and you may want to avoid using them in most dishes.
Its name comes from the resemblance it has to a bivalve mollusk found in the ocean. Oyster mushrooms also contain proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamin B and vitamin D. Iron and potassium are also present in these mushrooms.
They have a very short shelf life and should be used immediately. If it is not possible to use them immediately, they should be stored in a paper bag or between paper towels.
King Oyster mushrooms
These varieties are also known as King Trumpet mushrooms. King Oysters have a meaty texture and flavor. They are the largest of the oyster mushroom genus and, unlike other varieties, their stalks aren’t tough and woody to eat.
Native to the Mediterranean, they are perhaps most used in Asian cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean; three countries where the mushroom is cultivated on a large scale. They don’t lose shape when cooked. The texture is sometimes likened to scallops, which makes them an interesting option for vegetarians and are often billed as “mushroom steaks” or “vegan scallops.”
Lion’s Mane mushrooms
Lion’s mane mushrooms are white, globe-shaped fungi and are also known as pom pom mushrooms. They have an absorbent, soft, spongy texture. Inside, its structure is like cauliflower with branches extending off of a singular base. Some people say it tastes similar to seafood or crab meat.
For more information, visit centralmarket.com.