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Sicilian King Oyster Mushrooms
Inventory, lb : 0
This item was last sold on : 12/30/19
Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are the largest species of the oyster genus, averaging 12-17 centimeters in length and have a thick, bulbous stem with a flat to curled cap. The broad, smooth stem is spongy, chewy, and dense, ranging in color from white to cream-colored, and connects into prominent light brown, short gills with a flattened, grey-brown cap. The cap is also smooth and may have curled edges or flat edges with many cracks depending on maturity. When cooked, Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms have a tender, meat-like consistency with a mild, earthy, umami flavor.
Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are available in the fall in Italy.
Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms, botanically classified as Pleurotus eryngii, are large-sized mushrooms growing on the roots of other plants and belong to the Pleurotaceae family. Also known as Cardoncello and Cardoncelli in Italian, Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are native to the Mediterranean and are found growing wild and cultivated throughout Italy. Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are favored for their chewy texture and are widely used as a meat substitute in a variety of culinary applications including pasta, casseroles, desserts, and main dishes.
Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D, fiber, riboflavin, and niacin. They also contain some iron, vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, sautéing, stewing, or grilling. When raw, the mushroom has a neutral, almost non-existent flavor, but when cooked, the flavor develops into a rich, earthy, and umami-like quality that many consumers relate to the flavor of scallops. As a result of this flavor, Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes, especially seafood recipes, and are also cooked in vegetable side dishes for added texture and flavor. The mushrooms can be hand-torn and cooked into hearty pasta with tomatoes and sausage, roasted on tarts, baked with onions and potatoes, served in soups, or roasted with garlic and topped with fresh parsley. They can also be cooked into desserts such as mousses and brownies. Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms pair well with meats such as lamb, poultry, and beef, cheeses such as ricotta, parmesan, and goat, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme. The mushrooms will keep 1-2 weeks when stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator in a semi-breathable container.
Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms have been utilized in Italian cooking since the middle ages. Praised in writings by poets and considered to be one of the most popular varieties during the Renaissance, Italians favored the mushroom’s umami flavor so much that it was rumored to have been banned by religious officials in the belief that consuming the mushroom would encourage sin. In modern day, the legends and myths surrounding the mushroom have waned, and the Sicilian King Oyster mushroom has resumed its place in Italian cooking beloved for its meaty, dense nature. In Sicily, the mushrooms are popularly boiled in vinegar, dried, and then preserved in olive oil with oregano, lemon juice, and chile for extended use. These preserved mushrooms can be added to cheese plates, paired with smoked meats, mixed into pasta, or consumed on their own.
King oyster mushrooms are native to Mediterranean regions that span across the edges of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East and have been growing wild since ancient times. Today there are many different varieties of king oyster mushrooms still cultivated in the Mediterranean, but some varieties have also been spread across the world and are cultivated in Asia including China, South Korea, and Japan, in Australia, and North America. Sicilian King Oyster mushrooms are predominately grown in Italy in Sardinia, Sicily, Lazio, Calabria, Apulia, and Basilicata, and can be found at local markets when in season.
Recipes that include Sicilian King Oyster Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.