Mushrooms: Grown in North Carolina, Growing in Popularity

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chanterelle and shiitake mushroom

Mushrooms have been a part of human cuisine for centuries. Many cultures have recognized the health benefits to mushrooms and use them in a variety of dishes. 

Mushrooms offer fiber, protein, and many important nutrients such as vitamin D, riboflavin, and selenium. They are also naturally low in calories, sodium, and are cholesterol-free.

Mushroom Cultivation

There are many companies offering products that contain mushrooms due to their noted health benefits. Mushroom powders, coffee alternatives, and even mushroom chocolate can be seen in stores today. 

Local mushroom cultivation has also grown in popularity. North Carolina is home to many mushroom farmers and foragers, likely due to the large diversity in edible fungal species that grow here. 

Farmers can grow and sell their product at farmers markets, grocery stores, and to restaurants. Foragers are also able to sell wild mushrooms, but they must demonstrate foraging competency, such as by obtaining a mushroom foraging certification. Sale of foraged mushrooms is regulated by the county health departments. There are deadly look-alike species to several of the common edible species, so you should always make sure you are obtaining them from a trusted source when purchasing mushrooms for consumption.

Cooking Mushrooms

To cook mushrooms add them to a pan with a bit of water and cook them until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms have shrunk in size. This ensures that the mushrooms absorb less oil or butter during sautéing. 


This is a basic mushroom risotto recipe. Substitute the portobello and white mushrooms with any mushroom of your choice to add interest to the dish!


  • 6 cups chicken broth, or as needed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Warm broth in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons oliveoil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cooked mushrooms; cook and stir until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid to a bowl; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the saucepan. Stir in shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add rice; cook and stir until rice is coated with oil and pale, golden in color, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in wine, stirring constantly until wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed.
  5. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, yet firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved mushrooms and their liquid, butter, chives, and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

So delicious, you won’t have mush-room left!


Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

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Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life

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