The secrets of Paris mushrooms
Tender and tasty, this cultivated mushroom is easy to cook and perfect in any sauce. Consumed regularly, it can even be beneficial to your health and a good source of vitamins. Why not enjoy rediscovering the mushroom on a gourmet tour of Paris or the surrounding region.
The history of Paris mushrooms
The origin of the Paris mushroom dates back to the time of Louis XIV and first appeared in Versailles. When work began on the construction of the city's Metro subway station, the mushrooms that were being grown in the catacombs became an obstacle. Today the "Champignon de Paris" is a misnomer because, in fact, its cultivation was moved to Anjou, and more specifically to the town of Saumur. Today the mushrooms are cultivated in underground tunnels, the ideal growing spot because of the relatively high humidity and the constant cool temperature that never exceeds 15°C. Each year, France produces 200,000 tons of mushrooms.
Nutritional and beneficial properties of mushrooms
Mushrooms are low in calories and rich in minerals, vitamins and micro-nutrients. To ensure that they are easily digested, they should not be overcooked and should be prepared using very little oil or fat. They can also be eaten regularly due to their low cost. In addition to its high protein content, the Paris mushroom is rich in calcium and fiber.
How to cook Paris mushrooms?
Paris mushrooms are very easy to prepare: just remove the gritty part at the end of the stems and run them quickly under cold water. In order to preserve their flavor and freshness, Paris mushrooms should be consumed immediately after purchase (stored a maximum of 4 days in the refrigerator). They are versatile and can be used in a myriad of dishes: veal blanquette, escalopes normande, omelette forestière, Greek-style mushrooms, or in a salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Mushrooms also are very good in stews, soups, sauces, stuffed vegetables, etc. Don't be surprised that they shrink considerably during cooking.
Learn more about those delicious mushrooms
I you want to learn more about the Paris mushroom, we suggest you visit the Mushroom museum in Saumur. This museum is entirely dedicated to mushrooms, their history and how they are produced. Website: http://www.musee-du-champignon.com/
The tour is divided in several parts and will get you in touch with the growing process of mushrooms. The various growing techniques will be explained and demonstrated to you. Even some traditional techniques will be shown.
Just go for it, Paris mushrooms are healthy, economical, easy to cook and available all year long.