Discovering Mushrooms in Canberra

by Rosemarie John on July 3, 2014

Well, everyone we know speaks about mushrooms these days. As far as we were concerned mushrooms have not been something that would entice us to go looking for them. Our past encounters with these little bulbs of soft flesh back in Asia have never motivated us to even form an opinion about them. But then we noticed most of our friends were seriously gorging on them. And so, on a cold cloudless morning we decided to go try some at Chatterbox Espresso Bar which is located a few paces away from our apartment.

It was a cold morning and at 7am, except for a few giggling Sulphur Crested Cockatoos there was hardly anyone on the foggy street. So off we went tucking ourselves into our jackets on a quest to discover the pleasure of mushrooms in Canberra, with a little bit of help of course from the Australian Mushroom Growers Association.

I can hear a few of you say Ahha! These two are going to sing praises of the fleshy toadstool because they were sponsored to promote it. We urge you to banish such thoughts, we were quite honestly very curious about this delicacy, mostly because of what we read about it.

Did you know that light-exposed mushrooms naturally generate vitamin D, which enhances calcium absorption and bone strength? Well we sure didn’t! I must admit that I rarely even buy mushrooms to make a meal or even if I did, never thought much about them. How wrong I was!

Every July, Australian Mushroom Growers run a foodservice campaign called Mushroom Mania encouraging the community to eat out during this month and enjoy healthy meals. We had been reading the “Did you know” and “Health & Nutrition” section of the Power of Mushrooms official website and were amazed at what this natural produce could do for the human body.

Just to mention a few benefits, mushrooms provide a healthy dose of Vitamin D, contain compounds that have been linked to lowering the risk of a range of cancers and have low carbohydrate content making it the ideal food for Diabetics.

Best of all… One serve of mushrooms (100g – 3 button mushrooms) has:

  • One third of your daily needs of riboflavin and biotin

  • A quarter of your daily needs of niacin and pantothenic acid

  • All your daily needs of vitamin D in light-exposed mushrooms

  • A modest amount of folate and vitamin B12.

  • A quarter of your daily needs of the essential minerals selenium and copper

  • Abundant antioxidants

 With so much goodness, our morning at Chatterbox was a surprising treat. On any other given day, I would have ordered salmon on poached eggs and Joseph, his decadent French toast. But today would be different and humble mushrooms showed us how tasty they could be. This is what we ordered.

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Mushroom Bruschetta – Sautéed mushrooms and marinated feta drizzled with a balsamic reduction on crispy ciabatta bread. The mushrooms were Portabella and the combination of flavours from the cheese and rocket leaves was surprisingly rich, heavy and hearty! ($14)

Mushrooms2-RJohn

Eggs with Mushrooms on the side – Two free range eggs, cooked to our liking and served with toasted brioche bread. Button mushrooms were used and it brought a lovely twist to the simple bread and egg dish. ($11 with an additional $3.50 charge for mushrooms on the side)

As we savoured every bite we grunted in satisfaction wondering how it is that we missed out on this delicious offering that Mother Nature so exquisitely carved. We were sold on the way it tasted and wonder now, how would it taste if it’s spiced the Asian way.

Perhaps our next outing would lead us to try mushrooms in Asian flavours. If we find a restaurant that can offer the spicy fare, we will share the experience with you. But spicy or not, you can expect us to write more about our experiences with mushrooms here. Click here for a spicy mushroom recipe just in case you want to try it out yourself.

Watch this video to see what we recently learned about mushrooms:

Do you love mushrooms?

If so, here is a chance to win one of THIRTY, $100 gift cards by joining the “Mushroom Maia 2014” social media photo competition! Click here for more details. Competition ends 31 July 2014.

Powerofmushrooms

**This is a sponsored post and all opinions are our own. We liked to thank the Australian Mushroom Growers for the prepaid Visa card that enabled us to dine out and understand how delicious and healthy mushrooms can be.

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