Gourmet mushroom

by admin on 05/06/2009

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Elisabeth Maarud is producing King Oyster Mushrooms organically, a quality product which more and more people are asking for and getting to appreciate.

Barely an hour’s drive north of Oslo, the farm called Dystlandhaugen is located like a gem in the cultural landscape. We were met by the pleasant Mrs Elisabeth Maarud, who showed us around the farm.

I started growing mushrooms by coincidence in 2005, Elisabeth told us. An article in a newspaper caught her attention and then an appointment was made. She quit her job as a teacher and here I am today, the enthusiastic small scale producer says.

King Oyster Mushroom occur naturally in Southern Europe, North Africa, Central Asia and around the Black Sea. It has a firm consistency and the taste is like porcini.

I get the mushrooms in bags from a company called Den Blinde Ku (The Blind Cow), which retains all rights regarding the mushroom. After having ordered mushrooms spores, Elisabeth receives plastic bags containing the mushroom spores lying in a mixture of sawdust, spelt and wheat bran. All the bags are transported inside to rooms where the atmospheric conditions are like in autumn, that is, cool and humid. Naturally, temperature and humidity is controlled electronically. After having grown for 7-8 weeks, the mushrooms are ready for harvesting. After having packed the mushrooms, a driver brings them to her customers, which consist mainly of restaurants and select supermarkets.

Like the other small scale producers we have visited, Mrs Maarud is surprised at how much time and effort which is required for marketing, distribution and sales. Instead, she would like to spend more time on creating new products.

Organically grown King Oyster Mushroom was awarded the prize “The year’s best raw material for the counties of Oslo and Akershus” at the food market called Matstreif 2008 in Oslo.

King Oyster Mushroom can be pickled, frozen and dried, and it keeps its consistency and flavour for 4-6 months. As fresh produce, the mushroom has a shelf life of 7-10 days provided that is stored at about 4o degrees C.

We hope that you as a consumer will select locally, organically grown food since the taste is delicious. Then, you will contribute to an increased selection in the supermarkets, an improved environment, a neat cultural landscape and tasteful meals. Besides, you will contribute to good, clean and fair food.

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