Portobello, shiitake, button, truffle — we’re talking mushrooms here, because October 15 is National Mushroom Day. If you don’t already know, mushrooms are fleshy fruiting bodies of fungi, and there’s a variety of species, which is why we have so many types of mushrooms to choose from. They’re a staple in a vegetarian’s diet due to their nutritious value and hearty consistency — plus they make a delicious side dish for a juicy piece of steak. That means everyone can have fun celebrating National Mushroom Day.
National Mushroom Day - History
Metal was used for cultivation
Metal trays became the preferred material to cultivate mushrooms.
The cultivation process turned to wood
Concrete trays for mushroom cultivation transitioned into wooden boxes in trays.
Nurseries for mushrooms were built
The first above-ground mushroom nursery was built — complete with many cultivation areas.
The cultivation of mushrooms
Edible fungi was successfully cultivated in a controlled environment of a vegetable garden
Mushrooms were discovered
Mushrooms were found in an area of Paris.
National Mushroom Day Activities
1. Get funky with fungi dishes
There are lots of different ways to utilize mushrooms in cooking, so on National Mushroom Day, get creative. For example, you can swap out your juicy beef patty and sub in a juicy portobello mushroom burger, warm up with a hearty mushroom soup, or take an omelet to the next level by filling or topping it with mushrooms.
2. Throw a ‘shroom cook-off
Invite friends, family and coworkers over to show off their best mushroom dishes (or try a new one) and since mushrooms are so versatile, you’re sure to have a lot of different types of dishes to taste and judge. Plus, there’s sure to be leftovers, so your mushroom cravings can be satisfied long after National Mushroom Day is over.
3. Plan a mushroom picking outing
Celebrate National Mushroom Day by getting into the great outdoors with friends and family and picking some fresh mushrooms. Now, many mushrooms you find in the woods are not edible (CHECK ONLINE BEFORE EATING!!), but that’s not really the point of this anyways. Instead, view this mushroom outing as a fun adventure with the people you love and an opportunity to get out of the house or office.
4 Groovy Mushroom Tidbits
1. There’s a mushroom that tastes like chicken
The Laetiporus mushroom, which grows in the wild, is said to taste almost exactly the same as fried chicken
2. Some mushrooms are the same, just at different ages
Button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms and white mushrooms are not different forms of mushrooms as the names may insinuate — but instead — they are just at different levels of maturity
3. Lighting affects mushroom growth
In fact, lighting causes mushrooms to become more abundant
4. Mushrooms can get pricey
White truffles, which are subtarranean mushrooms, are known for being expensive, but at 3.3 pounds, one was purchased for $330,000.
Why We Love National Mushroom Day
A. They make a hearty soup
As the weather gets cooler, nothing warms you up better than a bowl of soup, and luckily, National Mushroom Day falls on October 15 — aka the perfect time for soup. So put down your Pumpkin Spice Latte and pick up a warm bowl of mushroom soup.
B. They have a lot of health benefits
National Mushroom Day is a good reminder to eat your ‘shrooms because they’re delicious and nutritious. In fact, mushrooms have a high protein content and they contain B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and zinc. So not only will you be participating in National Mushroom Day, but you’ll also be doing something good for your health — and we call that a double win.
C. Vegetarians and carnivores can get in on the action
Whether you're vegetarian or just want to celebrate with someone who is — National Mushroom Day has something for everyone to enjoy. Craving burgers? Vegetarians will love indulging on a portobello mushroom burger (the mushroom that’s been dubbed the “meat” of the fungi world). If the carnivores out there aren’t happy with this option, then go for a regular burger — just top it with mushrooms in honor of National Mushroom Day. See, now everyone is happy.