Mushrooms are the most rapid growing fruit of the fungi. The base structure is developed from wind- or- animal carried spores that grow underground in the right conditions and appear overnight. There are 40 000 species. Mushrooms contain edible protein, are low in calories and high in fibre. Edible wild mushrooms can be bought dried and their flavour is stronger than their cultivated cousins.
Use: Mushrooms bring colour and meaty flavour to dishes. Use in soups, starters, sauces, stews, main dishes, quick snacks, as a vegetable or raw in salads. They can be microwaved, baked, braaied, fried, steamed or pickled and eaten for breakfast lunch or supper. Chop or slice mushrooms by hand or in a food processor. Mushrooms produce a good deal of liquid, whichh reduces in cooking, leaving them tender and smaller in size. To use dried mushrooms, soak in warm water to cover for 30- 60 minutes. Drain, retaining liquid for cooking, then slice. Once rehydrated, cook as fresh mushrooms. Some kind may require longer cooking to become tender. Twenty grams dried mushrooms is equivalent of 250g fresh.