Oyster Mushrooms: What Do?

What are Oyster Mushrooms? Do they eat oysters or do oysters eat them? What's the deal with their associated "Cult" and why don't they fear the reaper?

These are just a handful of the common questions we receive on our mushrooms, so lets dive into their history and application!

Oyster Mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus come in over 200 of varieties, and have been commercially cultivated since World War I. Their rich meaty caps can be seen naturally growing on decaying hardwood such as Oak and Beech, forming dense clusters on the sides and top of the dead wood. Often found in forests hundreds of miles from the ocean, their name is a product of their clam-shell appearance not a bivalve-fed diet. Oyster Mushrooms play an important role as saprophytes, consume dead organic matter and returning more bio-available nutrients to their native soils. These nutrients go on to feed living plants and animals, eventually returning to the fungal food chain as new dead matter.

At NM Fungi, we currently offer three of our favorite Oyster varieties: Blue, Golden and Pink. Each variety offers a unique culinary experience which can also be combined into a succulent medley!

Blue Oyster mushrooms are among the most commonly cultivated fungi in the world. These steely-blue mushrooms are the perfect replacement for boring White Buttons and Portobellos, offering a rich umami flavor with crispy and tender textures. Cook these caps just like you would with any common store-bought mushroom: sauté in light butter or oil and instantly improve any red sauce or stir fry!

Golden Oyster mushrooms are native to Japan, Russia and Northern China but have been found naturalized in North America in recent decades. With bright yellow caps and gills, Golden Oysters add tender flavor and eye-catching color to any dish! When cooked, these delicate treats take on a savory cashew-like flavor and make an excellent addition to any sauce or stew and pairs well with almost any kind of fish.

Pink Oysters are a tropical variety bearing beautiful bouquets of flamingo pink gills and are a summertime favorite. These massive mushrooms have been described as tasting meaty and savory, with a mild pork flavor profile. With crispy oven baked edges, these protein-packed clusters have been used to replace bacon as a less fatty alternative!

Let us know what your favorite Oyster variety is, and be sure to share pics of your delicious recipes on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter :)


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