Fungi

Cultivated mushrooms are natural strains which are amenable to being cultivated on  sterile woodchips ( substrate or growing medium) inside high tech bags which keep competitive spores out. The wood is from offcuts from managed regenerated woodlands. The fungus is grown inside the bag in warm, clean rooms and when the fungus has reached the correct stage we simply change the growing conditions to mimic autumn or early spring. We wait, water and pick… or so it is in theory… of course, being natural products there is a lot of variability. We use organically certified substrate and all that goes in is water, light and oxygen and a bit of heat in winter. We get mushrooms and half digested woodchip material which is reused as mulching material. Clean, green, sustainable and delicious.

Eryngii or King Oyster

These big flavour mushrooms have been developed for cultivation from the wild “pleurotus eryngii” which is only found in the Mediterranean region. They have quickly gained popularity throughout the world with Korean growers masters of the techniques.

Fundamentally Fungus also grow organic Eryngii using a block system with a different strain, which has a more delicate flavour. This also means we can provide a whole range of sizes according to what your dish requires. .Available in a wide range to sizes from small to large (3cm to 10cm), these mushrooms have thick meaty white stem, beautiful upward flowing gills and a fawn coloured cap. A robust mushroom with a delicate sweet flavour.


Abalone

This mushroom has only been commercially available for a few years and Fundamentally Fungus are the first to introduce it. It has quickly become very popular.

Each mushrooms is spectacularly large and weigh typically around 150-200g They have a raw texture similar to puffballs. Robust and can sliced to size. When cooked it has the silky texture similar to ceps. It is sweetish but very savoury at the same time and will take on a lovely golden colour. Sliced thinly, seasoned and cooked at high heat the flavour is reminiscent of bacon.


Wood blewits - Pied Bleu or Blue Feet

Only a handful of growers produce these unusual looking blue mushrooms. We source them from caves in Northern France where the temperature is a constant 12-14°c. This means they are slower growing and more flavoursome.

Beautiful lilac-blue legs with rounded caps and a firm texture, the flavour is both fruity and nutty and quite intense. We sort these mushrooms to a number of sizes depending on what your dish requires.


White and Golden Enoki

Just like white and brown mushrooms, white and golden Enoki are the same species but different colours. This is a mushroom which would never be picked wild as they are so small and fragile that they would shrivel before you got them home. White enoki have been cultivated for decades now and are a huge volume everyday mushroom in Asia where they are often eaten raw. Golden Enoki. Small golden bursts of flavour and colour. Uniform tiny heads with a fresh, sweet flavour. Can be eaten raw or just cooked to add interest. A crisp and fresh texture with a piquant finish.


Horse

A close cousin of the White and Chestnut mushroom but with a really interesting sweetish, almond almost aniseed taste. Delicious both raw and cooked. Sautéed they take on a lovely golden colour and retain their interesting cobb shape. They are picked before the caps open for best flavour. These mushrooms work particularly well pickled and we try to pick out the smallest ones if that’s what you’re doing.


Maitake - Hen of the Woods

Not to be confused with Chicken of the Woods. Can be found wild in the UK but is rare and so should not be picked. Rich dark feathery fronds with pale underside, overlapping each other to a beautiful cascade of wavy feathers.

Fragrance is like ground coffee but with a peppery and intensely flavoursome taste that really packs a punch. The complex two stage cultivation process is tricky but Fundamentally Fungus works with expert growers for this one. To make sure it is generally available all year round.


Nameko - Butterscotch

Exclusively grown by Fundamentally Food here in Stockbridge, these little mushrooms look a little like honey fungus but actually a different species and a real gourmet mushroom.

They are a lovely golden, toffee colour with a sweet, nutty flavour. Once cooked these little mushrooms hold their colour and shape well, so they make a great impression on plate.

We pick them at the point of best quality – still tight caps and not too much stem. Because we can…


Oyster, grey

Oyster mushrooms so called because of the shape and size of the cap. A good value but interesting mushroom, now mostly grown in Poland and Hungary. The flavour is subtle and they will take on other flavours readily. Delicate and velvety, slightly peppery taste when eaten raw.


Oyster yellow

These yellow varieties are smaller and more delicate than their grey relatives. They hold their colour best when steamed but are also delicious raw with a peppery taste. Can be used instead of expensive shoots or flowers as an attractive garnish to dishes.


Pom Pom ( Lions Mane or Monkey Head)

Pom Poms don’t look like typical mushrooms as they don’t have a cap or a stem. Organically grown these look a bit like a tight sponge. They are widely use in Asia for stocks and soups when dried for that big savoury umami flavour. We supply fresh and their mild, sweet flavour is best brought out when cooked at high heat or roasted. This may be found in the UK wild but it is an endangered species on the red list and should never be picked.


Shiitake

Our organically grown Shiitake is a different beast altogether from the Chinese variety which is most widely sold in the UK. It is very fresh and still has those delicate aromatics present.

Dark spotty cap and succulent ivory flesh it has a definite but still delicate mushroom flavour with a long finish on the taste. These mushrooms have fresh springy yet firm texture.

They can be eaten raw and have a light garlicky after taste. These are the most widely consumed mushrooms in the world. Chinese people have been cultivating these for more than 1000 years.


Shimeji Brown

Barely seen 10 years ago these have become very popular with chefs. As tiny individual mushrooms growers cultivate them to produce small bunches. The individual mushrooms have small caps a thinnish stems. Their brown speckled caps look pretty and they have a crisp texture and a slightly herby flavour when cooked.


Shimeji White

Coming along after the brown variety, these have also become very popular with chefs. They grow in delicate bunches and the individual mushrooms have small caps a thinnish stems. They are similar is texture and flavour to their brown cousins, but the almost pure white stems and caps add drama to a dish.


Velvet Cap - Piopinni

The Italians call it piopinni or ‘little nails’ which describes the tiny mushrooms just as they emerge. We call it velvet cap for the caps’ dark velvety appearance. Rarely sold through wholesalers because if not absolutely fresh, the heads fall off – so we grow them here in Stockbridge.

These pretty and delicate mushrooms have an interesting peppery flavour which is mild yet works particularly well pickled to make an interesting flavour and texture.


Chestnut & Portabella

We supply Hampshire grown brown (Chestnut) mushrooms which are freshly picked and in our chill store within hours.  They have a fresh nutty taste and are great for breakfasts.  We think the closed cup stage is the best as flesh is still lovely and firm.

Portabella (it’s a made up name) also from Hampshire. They are large chestnut mushrooms which have been allowed to grow on. The caps are open and dark spores have developed. For best quality, timing of the pick is critical as is no watering at late stage otherwise they go soft and sticky in storage.

Ours are harvested when caps are not fully open and because they are not overwatered they will hold in store for almost two weeks.

We pack to size for Chef’s so that you have the right size available of all customers.