Chestnut mushroom's scientific name literally translates to "fat with scaly cap." These cluster-growing mushrooms are similar to Shiitake in taste, with a distinct "nutty" flavor, hence their name.
Chefs describe chestnut mushrooms as having a satisfying snap while being chewed and eaten due to their asparagus-like texture. Make sure to wash your hands after handling and preparing chestnut mushrooms as they can stain your hands orange!
Chestnut mushrooms possess many useful qualities and therefore are in high demand. Being both saprophytic and parasitic increases the possibilities for growth; however, chestnuts tend to grow better with dead substrates.
Commonly found on Beech trees in nature, Chestnut mushrooms are cultivated and sold in the United States, Japan, Chile, China, Korea, and Australia. In China, the Chestnut mushroom is commonly referred to as the "magic mushroom of China."
Similar to Lion's Mane, the Chestnut Mushroom possesses anti-tumor chemicals which inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. Some studies have shown the rate of inhibition of growth of stomach cancer cells by up to 26 percent, and for breast cancer cells by up to 23 percent!
Traditionally in China, the Chestnut mushroom is used to treat headaches and fever. The "magic mushroom of China" is packed full of phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals, including copper, selenium, protein, and potassium!
In addition to being a super-dense source of vitamins and minerals, Chestnut mushrooms are anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal. Research has shown that Chestnut mushrooms slow down osteoporosis, as well!
Along with vitamins B3 and B5, chestnut mushrooms contain more vitamin B2 than most garden vegetables!
The benefits of Chestnut mushrooms are not solely limited to preventing and curing diseases. Chestnut mushrooms are an excellent source of fiber, minerals, proteins, and vitamins as well!
The taste of cooked Chestnut mushrooms has been described by foodies as: mildly sweet, nutty, and rich! Pholiota Adiposa, our specialty, crunches even after being cooked. The earthy flavor possesses a hint of pepper which gives Chestnut a delectable finish.
Chestnut is an excellent mushroom for broths, crème sauces, and miso soups. Many chefs also enjoy searing Chestnut with butter and garlic and then adding to salad.
Below you will find a recipe from our friend, Central Arkansas Vegan, for a delicious bourguignon! Just substitute the button mushrooms with chestnut mushrooms and enjoy!