There is nothing like fried mushrooms on
toast for breakfast, served sizzling hot straight from the pan. Once
cooked, mushrooms, especially fried ones, go soft and flabby quite
quickly; they still taste fine but the pleasure is not so great.
In the past, mushrooms have had a firm
association with the supernatural and even today their connection with
the mysterious side of life hasn't completely disappeared. Fairy rings -
circles of mushrooms - inexplicably appear overnight in woods and fields
and thunder is still thought to bring forth fresh crops of mushrooms.
Many types of mushrooms and fungi are either
poisonous or hallucinogenic. The use of the term mushroom to mean edible
species, and toadstool to mean those considered poisonous, has no
scientific basis, and there is no simple rule for distinguishing between
the two. Picking wild mushrooms is not safe unless you are confident
about identifying edible types. In France, during the autumn, people
take the wild mushrooms they have gathered to the local pharmacy for
Button mushrooms are cultivated and widely
available in shops and are sold when very young and tiny as button
mushrooms. The slightly larger ones are known as closed cap, while
larger ones still are open capped or open cup mushrooms. They have ivory
or white caps with pinky/beige gills which darken as they mature. All
have a pleasant unassuming flavor.