Mushrooms are out of the dark and available Tuesday afternoons at the Lake Charles Cash & Carry Farmer’s Market. At the ALL CAPS gourmet mushroom stall, Daisy Kerne had carefully and creatively arranged in a basket Lion’s Mane, Pink Oyster, Blue Oyster and Chestnut mushrooms harvested that day. It looked like a centerpiece in the dining room.
“My business partner worked in information technology and hated it,” Kerne said. “He told me he had this idea to make money. I have a degree in horticulture and have started to dabble in it.”
The two bought their first kit in October 2019, and everyone knows what happened in March 2020 – COVID.
“But that was fine,” Kerne said. “We were still learning, and it gave us plenty of time to play around and experiment.”
She said it’s hard physical labor, processing 60 10-pound sacks a week in an old cypress house in New Iberia, where temperatures and humidity are carefully controlled and a successful harvest isn’t always guaranteed. Despite this, there is a market for this edible mushroom that is more expensive than the white button. Lake Charles Cash & Carry Farmers Market
She was right. There were more cash and carry shoppers who knew the benefits of cooking with gourmet mushrooms and bought than asked questions.
David Medus stopped by the stall and bought half a pound of blue oysters to fry with butter and tomato and serve over pasta he bought from another Cash & Carry retailer. He hadn’t made it to the table with the fresh tomatoes and other vegetables. That was next.
dr Richard Gilmore “likes the idea of shopping locally and trying things that the local grocery store doesn’t have.” He said he tosses his mushrooms in noodles.
Each mushroom has its own distinctive flavor, a deeper, richer flavor than the white button. Blue oysters have a very subtle seafood flavor with undertones of liquorice or aniseed. Gourmet mushrooms are typically rich in umami, which has been described as the fifth basic taste alongside sour, sweet, bitter and salty. This fifth taste was discovered by Japanese scientists and the word means savory. Some people say the pink oyster mushroom tastes like bacon or ham. Chestnut mushrooms have a nutty taste.
The taste of lion’s mane mushroom has been compared to crab meat and its medicinal use is being studied.
Kerne said one of the most popular lion’s mane recipes is faux crab cakes. She took a piece of lion’s mane from her ice chest to show how much a piece of it resembled a piece of crab meat in appearance and texture.
In addition to gourmet mushrooms, ALL CAPS also offers a special spice mix with dried mushrooms and lion’s mane extract.
“Studies have shown that the triterpenes found in lion’s mane stimulate nerve regeneration and may help improve memory and brain function,” Kerne said.
Regarding the nutritional value of mushrooms, Kerne said that this is the only product in the range with natural vitamin D. Some consider mushrooms a superfood because they may contain medicinal properties – this is still being studied – and they are also sources of protein, B vitamins, fiber and immune-boosting sugars called beta-glucans.
Fake crab cake recipe
6-8 ounces lion’s mane mushrooms
¼ cup onion, finely diced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup panko or breadcrumbs
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Direction: 1. By hand, shred Lion’s Mane until it looks like a flaky crab. 2. Mix well the egg, diced onion, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix in shredded mushrooms, then panko or breadcrumbs. 3. Gently form four crab balls. 4. Heat oil in a black iron skillet to medium/high. Using a spatula, mash the balls into a patty and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Squeeze lemon over it and garnish with parsley.