Mushrooms - taboo or just ignored?

#1 Jul 10th, 2016, 22:55
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#1
Besides seaweeds, the other food that I do not commonly see in non-Chinese Indian cooking is mushrooms. Yeah, I know about the whole tamasik reputation it has, but hey, Indians eat all kinds of tamasik things, so what's the problem? There must be dozens or hundreds (?) of varieties of 'shrooms in Bharata...

Consider...

http://www.mycosphere.org/pdf/Mycosphere_5_3_7.pdf

The gist of the above (my notes) is...

- According to a 2010 study villages in West Bengal collected and used 30 different species of wild mushrooms.
- Northwest Himalaya's monsoon has conditions for locals to search for valuable edible and medicinal mushrooms.
- Some edible mushrooms are very similar in appearance to poisonous kinds and may even occur in the same habitat. (so what,this hasn't stopped Europeans from hunting under the same conditions)
- Brahmins assume that the taste of mushrooms (called chuein in the N.W.)
is similar to the taste of animal flesh. For this reason, they donít use wild mushroom as food. (Huh, I loathe fake meat, such as is served in Taiwan. Mushrooms do NOT taste like meat!)
- Oyster mushroom (dhingri) is available in local markets
- "A common myth held by many people is that all wild mushrooms are tested by snakes, so that the mushroom is rendered poisonous." (huh, and green peas are tested by fairies?)
- Some think that since mushrooms occur normally in dirty places, they are unhygienic. (This was the argument used by my yoga teacher 40 years ago.)
- "Incidents of poisoning are reported from Uttarakhand and Himachal
Himalaya in local newspapers, but to date no scientific investigations have ever been carried out to recognize these wild edible and poisonous mushrooms, either by the local government or by scientists working on wild mushrooms." (What is the ratio of non-poisonous huntings vs. posionous ones, and of those who get ill, how many are fatal illnesses?)
-One of the problems is that those who die fromeating mushrooms are usually in rural areas and investigators can't get out to the field to see whatw was eaten (I think there is untold story here...)
- traditional knowledge of local vaidyas has been lost

The article goes on to list all the kinds of mushrooms in the N.W. Includes photos.

Yet, all I ever see in Indian recipes are button mushrooms, to me the most tasteless of them all. I eat shitake mostly. It is terribly amusing for my mother, who has dementia, as I pass her a spoonful of those aromatic morsels I cook for her for lunch, 'Here mum, eat some shit....ake mushrooms.'

Maybe the only hope for finding my two other favourite kinds of food (wild mushrooms and miso [fermented soybeans] is the North-east and Himalayan region.

I will report back with what I find. I will be scouting out wild vegetables and all kinds of edible mushrooms in Gangtok markets (I am not a forager). And after inquiring as to the reputation of the seller, feed them to a stray dog first if there is any question.
Last edited by Peterjones; Jul 10th, 2016 at 23:26.. Reason: clarification
#2 Jul 10th, 2016, 23:22
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Actually, I do see some more adventurous mushrooms is shops, but I'm afraid I'm guilty of sticking to the boring button mushrooms. Always was. The majority of Brits will not be very adventurous on the fungus front. Traditional Indian cooking? Yes, boring buttons, if at all. Cost may be a factor.

I actually love mushrooms. Really, I should broaden those fungal horizons. I even loved Japanese food, but stuck to the raw fish.
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#3 Jul 10th, 2016, 23:32
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Found some Morel mushrooms in the Himalayas. I can't remember what someone told me they go for a kilo but was a lot. So they for sure have a market for them. I know they cost a lot in Yankeeland.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/19007096.cms
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#4 Jul 10th, 2016, 23:39
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post Found some Morel mushrooms in the Himalayas.


I love Morel mushrooms! They grow wild where I live, but I lost my mushroom hunting ground when I was divorced. Now I have to buy them.

And yes, they are pricey.
#5 Jul 10th, 2016, 23:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post I love Morel mushrooms! They grow wild where I live, but I lost my mushroom hunting ground when I was divorced. Now I have to buy them.

And yes, they are pricey.
When I was little when we would visit my Dad's family who live in Illinois and Indiana from California where we were living at the time, I remember all of the relatives going into the woods to hunt for Morels and then after finding them would make some kind of meal from them. Fun times.

And hi Daisy! Haven't seen any posts from you lately!
#6 Jul 11th, 2016, 00:01
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Mushroom hunting is fun! It's always great when you are the one who finds the most.

Hi ananda! I've been out of town for most of the last three weeks and not on here much. I have been lurking here, though. I can't give up IM entirely because when I do, I start going through withdrawal symptoms. People around me wonder why I'm shaking. So staying connected to IM is a must.
#7 Jul 11th, 2016, 00:32
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post but I lost my mushroom hunting ground when I was divorced.
He got custody of the mushrooms?

Tragic. .

What court would do that to a delicate feminine flower?
#8 Jul 11th, 2016, 00:40
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#8
He got custody of the hog as well.
#9 Jul 11th, 2016, 01:06
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Yes, I lost the mushrooms, the hog, the pick-up truck...I should have sprung for a big city lawyer.

#10 Jul 11th, 2016, 03:17
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Thank god you kept the sense of humour!
#11 Jul 11th, 2016, 03:25
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iiiiii
#12 Jul 11th, 2016, 06:18
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#12
Quote:
Yet, all I ever see in Indian recipes are button mushrooms,
Morel mushrooms grew wild on the compound of my spouse's family compound in Srinagar and they ate it as often as possible. Its shipped out out now to the middle east I understand.

Quote:
es, I lost the mushrooms, the hog, the pick-up truck.
Yes, sounds like you got the same judge as my cousin's ex did.She got custody alright, two hours a ... year. Even the family was aghast at what Uncle Jack decreed. Informally, they adjusted it to two hours a month. Don't mess with Texas.

But, somehow I feel you came out with the lion's share of what is called human capital or by what less lettered folk call brains..
#13 Jul 11th, 2016, 06:47
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#13
Oh yes, I may have lost the mushrooms, but I got custody of my daughter and that was really the only thing that mattered. And of course I came out with the lion's share of the brains. You are very smart to have noticed that.

When I was in India and told people I was divorced, they were very sad for me. But as I told them, it's not a sad thing at all. It was the very best choice I could have made, and I was never sad about it. I hope I didn't give that impression.

And back on topic, how wonderful that Morel mushrooms grew wild on the compound of your spouse's family compound in Srinagar. I need to find a new hunting ground.
#14 Jul 11th, 2016, 07:02
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You will find a variety of Mushrooms in Sikkim. Both in fresh and dried forms. Lal market in Gangtok is a good place for them.
I a friend of mine has discovered white truffles on his property in West Sikkim.
#15 Jul 11th, 2016, 11:16
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#15
I have been enjoying wild puffball mushrooms since last couple of months, juts one is enough for a sumptuous lunch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post I should have sprung for a big city lawyer.
Are you sure

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