Portobellos, shiitakes or oyster mushrooms – whichever kind you try, mushrooms offer a delightful culinary joy, unlike any other produce. Julien Khoury of Lebanese organic farm, Gourmet Mushroom, gives us a breakdown of this fabulous fungi
Following strict organic growing methods, Gourmet Mushroom started producing white button mushrooms in late 2015, and now has over 10 varieties of mushroom, eight of which are organically certified by Instituto mediterraneo di Certificazione (IMC). Producing around 40 tons a month and distributing to over 500 clients divided between restaurants, caterers, and retail shops, Gourmet Mushroom is now the leader and sole producer/distributer in the Lebanese market for organic, exotic mushrooms.
KNOW YOUR PRODUCT
When buying mushrooms, you should know that they are like any other vegetable. At their freshest, you find them extremely white with a hard texture and the bottom cap is still closed. A couple of days later, the bottom cap will slightly open and you will notice more softness. This means your mushrooms are more mature, but definitely edible. Validity tests have proven that if well stored, mushrooms are edible after 30 days unless you notice an unpleasant mold on it.
CLEANING / STORING
Never wash your mushrooms. If you notice any black peat on your product, we suggest that you just wipe it off with a dry cloth. Always store your mushrooms in a fridge on a temperature below 4 degrees. We recommend that you store them in Gourmet Mushroom special blue plastic boxes with the lids on.
Mushrooms are fat free, high in protein, very rich in different vitamins, specially B & D and are loaded with minerals and antioxidants. Gourmet Mushroom recently built an open kitchen on their farm, aimed at raising awareness of products and their cooking methods.
MUST HAVE PRODUCT
Mushroom Powder: Gourmet Mushroom’s special mix of seven kinds of mushrooms, dehydrated and grinded at their farm is one of its latest innovations. Lebanese chefs in the hospitality industry are using it as a solid ingredient in most of their recipes to enhance the mushroom flavor in their cuisine. The 125g jar is sold at USD 20 which is considered a competitive price, when compared to imported mushroom powders from the US or EU.
Did you know that when cooking with mushrooms, it’s better to use butter rather than oil? Or, if you must use oil, try an olive or nut oil, sparingly on high heat. You can also use a dry pan on high heat to retain the mushrooms’ original flavor.