WILD ABOUT MUSHROOMS
No Longer Wild, But Far From Tame
For more than 25 years, the motto “No longer wild, but far from tame” has both described and guided the enterprise at Sebastopol, Calif.-based Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., the leader in exotic mushroom cultivation. So if you don’t have the time—or courage—to forage for your own wild mushrooms, Gourmet Mushrooms is a terrific source, and one used by some of the world’s finest restaurants and chefs.
These cultivated mushrooms are carefully nurtured in special clean rooms, where mushrooms are grown in sterilized oak shavings that ultimately wind up as vineyard top soil dressing after these 100 percent certified organic mushrooms are harvested. The mushrooms grow 7-15 weeks before moving to another special room for the final week or so before harvest, an event which occurs every day of the year to deliver optimum flavor and texture.
Because mushrooms have such diverse flavor profiles, they are rich territory for food and wine pairings. Wines such as Pinot Noir and Merlot harmonize perfectly with the earthy forest flavor of shiitakes or porcinis, but there are so many possibilities. For instance, Gourmet Mushrooms’ creamy white Alba Clamshell mushrooms, also known as Hon-shimeji, have nutty shellfish notes that sparkle under the influence of a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc. Hen-of-the-Woods (Maitake), with its combination of forest richness and floral sweetness, is a great match for Syrah.
Offered at many finer specialty markets in California, these mushrooms are also available at Whole Foods Markets in 28 states, so they are probably available somewhere close to you. If not, you might order a Gourmet Mushroom Basket, a two or four pound selection delivered overnight for ultimate freshness.
Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., 707.823.1743, P.O. Box 180, Sepastopol, CA