Specialty Mushrooms in Canada | Fresh Culinary Mushrooms from My Fungi

A mushroom is an edible fungus that provides nutritional contents such as proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants. They are popular in adding flavor to some cuisines because they offer additional texture and an extra punch. Recently, they are being widely used as an alternative for meat dishes.

Is it safe to eat mushrooms? Absolutely! They are grown in a sterilized environment with the help of a mycologist (people who study mushrooms). That’s why the ones you can buy at groceries are safe and non-toxic.

However, if you are unfamiliar with some types of mushrooms, it can be a little confusing to identify which of them you can add to your recipes. You can’t just go mushroom hunting on your own. So, it’s best to purchase them from trusted stores that get their supplies from real mushroom farmers.

Specialty Mushrooms: History and Surprising Facts

If you look back in history, people consuming mushrooms might surprise you. Based on records, they have been a part of the human diet since ancient times. Look at these facts!

  • RTraces of some edible mushrooms have been linked to archeological sites in Chile, inhabited 13,000 years ago.
  • RPliny the Elder and Aristotle wrote about mushrooms in their studies.
  • RMushrooms, particularly truffles, were considered prized treasures in Ancient Greece and Rome.
  • RMushrooms have been used "spiritually" as early as 10,000 BCE in the cultures of the Chinese, Mayans, Vikings, and Greeks.
  • RBecause some mushrooms can become poisonous, Roman emperors used to have tasters before they try out specific variants.

Why Are Specialty Mushrooms In Demand Today?

According to the USDA, specialty mushrooms are those that do not fall under the genus Agaricus, which is the most common species. The mushrooms that usually fall under this category are shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Nowadays, the world is facing tons of difficulties. More consumers are looking for food options that are economically sustainable, nutritious, medicinal, and healthy. Mushrooms are considered by many experts to be the perfect species to grow.

With the easy growing processes, mushroom production can be a breeze. During harvest time, the mushroom market is also seemingly endless. You can supply the farmer’s market, grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses.

Many restaurants are adding specialty mushrooms to their gourmet meals, not only for their unique texture but also for the delightful benefits. Other people can also explore growing mushrooms from their own homes. Any home grower can switch or take on the role of a mushroom cultivator and enjoy the benefits.

GMP Compliant Specialty Mushroom Production Techniques

The world of specialty mushroom cultivation took a long time to reach heights. Though its commercial presence began in the 1960s, today, in 2021, hundreds of small-scale mushroom farms are available all over the world, with many in Canada.

With the demand rising for specialty mushrooms, now is the best time to be in the industry. Mushrooms are considered by many experts as cash crops, as the derivative products are enjoyed in both the culinary and healthcare industries.

The great thing about this is that the growth rate increases year after year. If this is something that entices your interest, now is the time to jump in and learn more about gourmet mushrooms.

GMP Compliant Specialty Mushroom Production Techniques

In this modern world, lots of edible mushrooms are commercially available. You can usually get them in supermarkets when you go for groceries and you can also order when you are eating out in restaurants.

Agaricus bisporus
(Common Mushroom)

Known as the button mushroom, this particular breed of shrooms is the most dominant one in entire Europe and North America. Usually, they are either white or brown, and they are consumed as young ones and mature ones.

The younger Agaricus is commonly known as white mushroom, champignon mushroom, or cultivated mushroom. On the other hand, if their colors are darker, they are called Roman or Italian brown mushrooms.

Now, if they are sold when they are matured, they are called portobello mushrooms.

Lentinula edodes
(Shiitake Mushroom)

The shiitake mushroom is known for its bold and strong flavors. It has an umami flavor but they do not overwhelm and overpower. Aside from this, there can be a light smokiness and woody tones from them.

Pleurotus ostreatus
(Blue or Yellow Oyster Mushroom)

Oyster mushrooms were first cultivated in Germany during the First World War to help the country gain sustenance. Particularly for culinary dishes, they are seen as a delicacy in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking. They do well for stir-frys, in soups, and getting stuffed, because of their fleshy culture.

Here is a list of other edible mushroom varieties cultivated or hunted from the wild:

  • Hericium erinaceus (Pom pom mushroom or Lion's Mane mushroom)
  • Flammulina velutipes (Golden needle mushroom)
  • Calbovista subsculpta (Giant puffballs of the Rocky Mountains)
  • Lactarius deliciosus (Saffron milk cap)
  • Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom)
  • Fistulina hepatica (Beefsteak fungus, or tongue mushroom)
  • Auricularia auricula judae (Black truffle or Jew's ear)
  • Laetiporus sulphureus (Sulphur shelf mushrooms)
  • Coprinopsis atramentaria (Inky Cap)
  • Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Inkcap)

Production Of GMP Mushrooms in Canada

The industry of gourmet mushrooms has been changing in the past few years and more and more people are appreciating them in the international scene. In fact, some mushrooms are widely available in Canada, that the country is also considered the 8th largest international producer of mushrooms with millions of kilograms being sold per year.

If you want to get gourmet mushrooms produced locally in Canada, we recommend checking out My Fungi. We organically produce the best mushrooms, whether for culinary or medicinal use.

Though some people go to Ontario or British Columbia for some mushrooms, Alberta can also be a great source for specialty mushrooms you won’t see somewhere else.