Fresh Locally Grown Specialty Mushrooms
King trumpet, beech, maitake, shiitake, oyster, and enoki. There are very few fresh foods that are equally beautiful, and fun to say! Monterey Mushrooms® is now offering a conventional and organic specialty mushroom line to satisfy our consumers wildest cravings.
If you’re up for the challenge, experiment in your kitchen with some of our specialty varieties. Don’t worry, we do not forage mushrooms in the wild. All our mushrooms are grown under controlled environments from commercially produced mushroom spawn (seed).
About Specialty Mushrooms
Shiitake, one of the more popular mushrooms, shiitakes are bursting with rich, smoky flavor. They make the perfect addition to stir-fry, pastas, soups and sides! Shiitake mushrooms were originally cultivated on natural oak logs, a process that took two to four years before the mycelium colonized the wood sufficiently to produce fruiting. Shiitakes were harvested on a seasonal basis (spring and fall) for about six years. Now, however, oak sawdust is packed into poly bags, sterilized, inoculated with spawn and placed in environmentally controlled rooms. These man-made “logs” produce shiitake mushrooms in seven weeks. The total process, from spawning to the end of harvesting, takes about four months as compared to the six-year cycle on natural logs.
Enoki mushrooms may look strange at first, but their crunchy texture and mild taste makes them oh so crave-able. Add them to salads, sandwiches or soups for a satisfyingly subtle, yet savory flavor. Enoki mushroom growing uses automated systems to fill plastic bottles with substrate, usually ground corn cob pellets, along with other ingredients such as wheat bran and soybean meal. The bottles are sterilized, inoculated with the mushroom culture and placed in growing houses. When the substrate is fully colonized with mycelium, the bottles are moved to an area where a plastic collar is attached to the mouth of the bottle. This collar guides the forming mushrooms to grow straight up to help control carbon dioxide. Enokis require a colder environment, 45 degrees, compared to growing temperatures of about 60 degrees, which other varieties require. After about 90 days, the mushrooms are harvested. The collars are removed, the enokis plucked from the mouth of the bottle and usually packaged in shrink-wrapped bags. The remaining substrate is recycled, since enokis only produce one set of fruiting bodies per crop.
Beech mushrooms have a crunchy texture that offers a delicately mild flavor, both satisfyingly sweet and nutty. Perfect for soups, stews or sauces, beech mushrooms maintain their crisp texture if added as the last ingredient! mushroom growing is similar to growing enokis. Plastic bottles are sterilized, inoculated with mushroom culture and then placed in growing houses to allow the substrate to colonize with the mycelium; however, beech mushrooms require a temperature of 60 to 64 degrees for the culture to fully develop. It takes about 100 days to produce a mature crop. Afterward, the mushrooms are harvested and packaged for sale. Since beeches only produce one set of fruiting bodies per crop, the remaining substrate is recycled for agri-business products.
Maitake have a decadent woodsy taste and distinct aroma that will keep you coming back for more. If you’re looking for a rich mushroom taste in any recipe calling for mushrooms, Maitakes are a good choice. Maitakes mushroom growing starts with cultivated “culture”- a piece of mushroom tissue grown on special sterile media in a petri plate in a laboratory. The culture is used to make mushroom spawn. The mushroom spawn is used to inoculate maitake production logs, which are made out of sawdust supplemented with grain byproducts such as bran. The logs go through a “spawn run” where the mushroom spawn colonizes the sawdust and supplements and knits them together in a solid mass. This takes about 30 days. The logs are incubated in special mushroom houses with temperature, humidity and air flow carefully controlled. Once the logs start to pin (small mushrooms begin to form) the logs are moved into “fruiting” houses which are carefully controlled to provide the best environment for mushroom formation. Like the enoki mushroom, a maitake produces only one time, then the substrate is recycled into agri-business products. The process from lab to table is 10 to 14 weeks.
For selection, storage, and care tips, click here.