Feature Friday: Mushroom Varieties – Oyster

In this Feature Friday Series, we will explore all the different varieties of fresh mushrooms grown locally right here in Canada.

Today we are focusing on the delicate, and very visially appealing, Oyster mushrooms.

Name: Pleurotus Ostreatus

Description: Oyster mushrooms have a funnel-shaped cap, ranging in size from 1 to 4 in. (2.5 to 10 cm), with gills running up a short off-center stem. These mushrooms are available in a range of colours, most commonly eaten are the grey, but they are also available in white, brown, black, and pink.

Taste: Oyster mushrooms have a delicate, mild flavour with a velvety texture. These mushrooms are best when eaten cooked.

Uses: Its texture makes it a great compliment to chicken, seafood, and pork.

How they Grow:
Like other mushrooms oyster mushrooms are also grown in an environmentally controlled building. These mushrooms require a bit more humidity and fresh air than the agaricus varieties. Oysters are grown on a range of agricultural and wood waste products including hardwood chips, chopped cereal, straw and corn cobs. After the growing medium is pasteurized it is cooled and then inoculated with oyster spawn and packed into long, tube shaped plastic bags. Holes are punched into the bag to allow for the oxygen to initiate mycelial growth. The bags are either hung or set up on racks in the controlled growing room. The oyster mushrooms will begin to grow out of the holes that were punched in the bag.

After about 14 days the mushrooms are ready to be harvested. Like all mushrooms, oysters are also harvested by hand. Pickers will simply cut the mushrooms stem as close to the plastic bag as possible. This will allow for another flush to come through.

Delicious Oyster Recipe Ideas:
Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup
Fresh Mushroom Cheddar Burger
Strip Loin Roast Beef with Rosemary Wild Mushroom Sauce

posted by Brittany

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