Feature Friday Series: Mushroom Varieties – The White Button
In this New Feature Friday Series, we will explore all the different varieties of fresh mushrooms grown locally right here in Canada.
Description: White mushrooms come in petite, button, large, stuffer and griller.
Taste: The mildest tasting mushroom out of the bunch. The taste does become stronger with cooking.
Uses: Can be used with almost anything; it is so versatile.
How they Grow: Growing white mushrooms takes several weeks. First the mushroom farmer must prepare the substrate. The substrate is the food source for which mushrooms grow. This substrate is pasteurized at 160 F/71 C to kill bacteria.
Unlike other plants that grow from seeds, mushrooms reproduce through microscopic particles called spores. Spawn is made by inoculating a piece of sterile grain with mushroom spores. Farmers can buy spawn from a sterile laboratory where they are produced. The spawn is spread on trays of full substrate in rooms that are climate controlled to promote growth. The root system, consisting of a web-like mass called mycelium, allows the mushroom spores to receive nutrients in the substrate. The substrate is covered with a layer of peat moss.
Within three weeks small mushrooms appear through the peat moss, this is called “pinning”. One week after the mushrooms start pinning, they are ready to be harvested. Harvesting mushrooms is done by hand. Mushrooms are processed, packed and refrigerated quickly before being shipped torestaurants or food stores within 24 hours. The production process from substrate production to market takes approximately three months.