15 Apr Wild about Mushrooms
#eatsouth is our celebration of the amazing food and drink larder that we have on our doorstep. It’s been born through COVID as an opportunity to support our communities and our local producers. The challenge is thrown down every few weeks – cook with this local ingredient and share the results. This latest challenge involved the most beautiful products – exotic mushrooms grown in the New Forest.
EXOTIC MUSHROOMS FROM THE NEW FOREST
Packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, the versatile mushroom comes in thousands of varieties and works perfectly as a side dish or as the main event.
Most of us have cooked with button or chestnut mushrooms, but it’s easy to shy away from the more exotic varieties. What do you do with them? How safe are they to eat?
We turned to the experts at New Forest Wild & Exotic Mushrooms to help us in our quest to unearth some new ways to use this most familiar of ingredients.
From fairy tale red and white spotted toadstools to beautiful tiered pale oyster mushrooms, former chef Richard Sawden is the man to ask when it comes to exotic fungi.
At New Forest Wild & Exotic Mushrooms, he supplies the freshest wild and cultivated exotic mushrooms and truffles from in and around the New Forest.
One of the few people in the UK able to offer fresh wild truffles, Richard gathers them by hand from a private estate where he has permission to forage.
More than 3,000 different species of mushrooms can be found across the national park and, when Richard’s growing rooms are full, his company can produce more than four tons of exotic mushrooms a month.
There so much to choose from on the site, from cultivated, wild and dried mushrooms to truffled quail eggs, wild garlic, samphire, and truffle honey.
We ordered a mix of cultivated and wild mushrooms and made everything from garlicky mushrooms on toast to an earthy, rich ramen and a mushroom brunch.
Our cooks reported kitchens filled with wonderful smells and dishes that tasted every bit as good.
And they had fun, guys (you must have seen that coming…)!