St. George Mushrooms
Inventory, lb : 0
|Food Buzz: History of Mushrooms|
St. George mushrooms are small to medium in size with caps averaging 5-15 centimeters in diameter and are connected to thick, stout stems. The smooth, ivory, umbrella-shaped caps are firm with inwardly curled edges. The caps may also become irregular in shape with tan or sun-blushed spots from age and exposure to the sun. Underneath the cap, there are many white gills that are very narrow and crowded. The white, broad, club-footed stem averages 2-7 centimeters in length and may be straight or slightly curved. St. George mushrooms have an unusual cucumber and mealy, flour aroma and are somewhat powdery with an earthy flavor.
St. George mushrooms are available in the mid-spring through summer.
St. George mushrooms, botanically classified as Calocybe gambosa, are a wild, edible variety that can be consumed both raw and cooked and are members of the Lyophyllaceae family. Growing in rings in grasslands, woodlands, fields, and along roadsides, St. George mushrooms are named after its fruiting appearance each spring to the national holiday, St. George’s Day in mid-April. St. George mushrooms are valued for their early fruiting season, unusual texture, and strong flavors and are used in a wide variety of culinary applications across Europe.
St. George mushrooms contain vitamin D, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and some vitamin C.
St. George mushrooms are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as sautéing, boiling, or pan-frying. They can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for other cultivated mushrooms and can be consumed fresh, but the preferred method is cooking due to their powdery flavor when raw. St. George mushrooms can be added to pasta dishes, omelets, served on toast, or sautéed with asparagus and served as a side dish. They can also be diced and added to soups, served over braised meats, fried in butter, or pickled for extended use. St. George mushrooms pair well with eggs, duck eggs, bacon, offal, poultry, risotto, asparagus, garlic, lemon juice, and sherry. They will keep up to one week when stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator.
The timing of the fruiting of St. George mushrooms in Italy reflects its name as the mushrooms appear in March and are known as Marzolino. In Italy, the variety was once highly valued and was one of the most expensive mushrooms in the 16th century. In Germany, St. George mushrooms appear in May and are also known as Maipilz.
St. George mushrooms are found throughout the cooler climates of Europe and North America and have been growing wild since ancient times, often found in the same places year after year. This variety was first classified in 1821 and was reclassified several times until 1962. Today St. George mushrooms can be found in the wild and are sold at local markets in Europe, North America, and in select regions in Japan.
Recipes that include St. George Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.