Mushrooms are classified to the fruit
& vegetables mostly. But mushrooms are actually fungi. The tissue which mushrooms consist of is called mycelium. These are long branched off fungal threads.
Mushrooms do not have chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are the energy suppliers of plants. They convert light, carbon dioxide and sugars into water
. Because mushrooms do not have chloroplasts they can grow in the dark.
In Europe the Netherlands is the largest producer of mushrooms. Worldwide China is number one, the United States of America two and the Netherlands number three.
There are nine types of mushrooms which are cultivated the most. The white mushroom is the most produced and best known of them.
The white mushroom is a tasty mushroom. It is used a lot in common and traditional meals. The size of the cap varies between 2 and 5 cm. The white mushroom is divided into four groups:
- Button mushrooms are small white mushrooms with a fine taste and firm structure. The pellicle under the cap is completely closed, so that the gills are not visible.
- Closed mushrooms are slightly bigger white mushrooms with a closed pellicle. They also have a firm structure.
- With open mushrooms the membrane is released partly. The pellicles are therefore visible. These mushrooms are more tasty.
- Big mushrooms have a completely released membrane. The hood is flatten off, so that the mushroom gets a T-shaped form. The pellicles have a dark brown colour. These mushrooms are full grown with a more refined taste.
The chestnut mushroom is the second most produced mushroom. It has a brown colour and tastes slightly like nuts. The chestnut mushroom contains less moisture than the white mushroom, therefore it shrinks less than the white mushroom while preparing.
The giant mushroom is a large version of the white mushroom. This type of mushroom is very suitable for filling
The cave mushroom is a light-coloured mushroom. The cave mushroom can be recognised by white marl at the base of the foot, because it is being cultivated in marl pits. The cave mushroom is more firm than the white mushroom and releases less moisture while preparing.
The horse mushroom is also called aniseed mushroom, due to its aniseed smell and taste. The cap is small and has a light yellow colour.
The portobello is a big chestnut mushroom. The cap can have a size of 12 cm. Due to its size the portobello is very suitable for filling.
The almond mushroom has an almond taste, as the name suggests. This almond mushroom originates from Brazil and Argentine. In less tropical countries it is cultivated under warm conditions. The cap has a brown colour and capricious edge. The structure is firm.
The Shii-take is a Japanese mushroom. Different from other mushrooms it is cultivated on oak, wheat straw and water. This type of mushroom has a flat cap and the colour can vary from light to dark brown. The taste is aromatic and spicy.
This type of mushroom is an oyster shaped mushroom. It is cultivated on prepared straw. The brown-grey and light violet variant are most common.
For a new concept in growing mushrooms during transport (figure above) click here