It’s not often that a local chef has the opportunity to experiment with a completely new-to-them ingredient, so it comes as no surprise that many chefs are interested in trying out new gourmet mushroom varieties in their dishes. Luckily, gourmet mushrooms have recently become more widely available to both professional chefs and home cooks in Minnesota.
R&R Cultivation offers an alternative to unsustainable foraging and imported dried mushrooms by cultivating many gourmet mushroom varieties right here in Minnesota! Here’s why local chefs love using these unique ingredients.
If you’re a foodie, you’ve likely heard the old saying, “You eat with your eyes first.” Gourmet mushrooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes that allow chefs to create the perfect visual for their customer. Mushroom varieties such as the Pioppino grow in a traditional stem and cap shape, while other species, such as Lion’s Mane, may be shaggy. Oyster mushrooms, which also happen to come in several unique colors, are shaped almost like an inside out umbrella.
Chefs use these visual differences to their advantage when planning their dish. Tiny beech mushrooms are often chosen to add a delicate flourish. Shiitakes, with their ragged edges and variety of sizes, may be best for a rustic dish. Gourmet mushrooms allow chefs to create a visually stunning plate of food that helps convey the dish’s delicious flavor – even before you take your first bite.
Diversity of Flavor
In addition to their visual variety, mushrooms also lend diverse flavors to restaurant dishes. Some flavors may be delicate and subtle, while others offer a huge punch of umami that dominates other flavors. Creative chefs experiment with these different flavors to bring the perfect balance to their dishes. Whether they choose to use mushrooms in a traditional manner (such as using Maitakes in a Japanese dish) or create new, interesting fusion dishes, chefs and their patrons benefit from the diverse flavors of gourmet mushrooms.
Locally Grown and Sustainable
We’ve seen a huge movement in the restaurant industry toward sustainable, local ingredients. Many chefs believe their food will be freshest and most flavorful if they choose ingredients from right down the street instead of shipping them from another country. In Minnesota, this means many chefs are attracted to R&R Cultivation’s mushrooms, which are grown right here in New Hope, Minnesota. Our gourmet mushrooms are also a sustainable choice since they’re responsibly cultivated in our grow rooms instead of being harvested from the wild.
Minnesota Home Cooks and Gourmet Mushrooms
Home cooks enjoy R&R Cultivation’s organic, gourmet mushrooms for many of the same reasons as pro chefs: mushrooms are visually interesting, versatile, and taste great. Some home cooks may specifically seek out gourmet mushrooms because when they are used in place of plain button mushrooms they quickly elevate any dish.
Unfortunately, the national chain supermarkets rarely offer any variety when it comes to mushrooms. It would be surprising to find more than two or three species of mushrooms in the grocery section at a big-box store, which means we’ve traditionally been limited in the mushroom recipes we can try at home. Now, with companies like ours offering dozens of species of mushrooms at farmer’s markets and local grocers, the sky's the limit for creative home chefs!
R&R Cultivation grows its organic, gourmet mushrooms locally in New Hope, Minnesota. Order our mushrooms online →