The Oyster Mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus is a fabulous fungi. We love bringing it to the market because its beauty is so eye catching; sparkling white gills and a blue-grey cap, the shape resembling a seashell. The oyster mushroom is easy to get crispy when cooked on a hot pan, the flavor is delicate and sweet – similar to crab meat – and is perfect combined with salt, garlic, lemon juice, white wine and herbs.
It is one of the most widely cultivated mushrooms in the world, probably because of its (relatively to other fungi) easiness to grow, high yield and nutritional value. There are some amazing projects around the world involving oyster mushrooms, one that has inspired us is Chido Govera’s story.
We are often asked “why is it called an Oyster Mushroom?” It is a good question, unfortunately, we don’t know why exactly, but we can guess that it has to do with its resemblance to seafood in both looks and flavor (strangely, it can also smells a bit fishy?!). We could give it a different name but in the spirit of clear communication we have chosen to stick with the most widely used common name.
The Oyster mushroom has a special place in our hearts, it was the first one that we grew ourselves – on a straw kit from a local farm. After that, Adam went on to grow the pink oyster mushroom, the yellow oyster mushroom and the king oyster mushroom. It was wonderful to have all of these fungi growing in our windowsill (yes!) and it helped us determine their strengths and weaknesses. The pinks and yellows were so beautiful but in our opinion lacked a bit when cooked, the king oysters had Adam scratching his beard on what to do to make them fruit but once he gave up they did just that and the flavor and texture was delicious.
We have also been so fortunate to have wild oyster mushrooms growing where we live, we are not the only ones who like them though – bugs are quick to move in – so we have taken a culture from one of them and will try to cultivate it ourselves.
Please, post your opinion of oyster mushrooms if you’d like!