Mushrooms are a staple of cuisine across the globe. These meaty plants offer flavours that range anywhere from subdued and light to heavy and earthy, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, textures and tastes. They provide flavour for vegetarian dishes, and are used in everything from casseroles and stir fries to mushroom ketchup. Mushrooms form a key part of the Japanese diet, which is heavily focused on using fresh ingredients, as several distinct types of mushroom are found in Japan.
Many people know of the five senses, but there are also five distinct types of taste as well. These are sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Umami is the taste related to glutamates and nucleotides and is distinguished by a deep, slightly salty and savoury taste that is imparted into a dish, creating a distinctive lingering aftertaste. The concept of umami is a relevantly recent one and was only truly recognised as a distinct taste in the late 20th century, even though the usage of dishes with umami properties have been around since ancient times. Mushrooms, in particular, have key umami properties. Staples of Japanese cuisine such as soy sauce, dashi (Soup stock), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and miso (fermented soybean paste) are used to impart an umami characteristic onto certain dishes.
Mushrooms also impart this vital flavour into Japanese dishes, and now you can grow them in the comfort of your own home without paying the supermarket prices for them. Our DIY Mushroom Log Kit allows you to grow mushrooms using logs, preferably hardwood logs such as oak, and contains sixty plug spawns so that you can grow a myriad of mushrooms. We also sell a Winter Enoki, or ‘Enokitake’, mushroom grow kit. Long, slender, thin and usually available in bunches, these mushrooms add substance to any dish. They don’t have a strong flavour, so are often used in dishes such as soups and chow mein where they can absorb the flavour of the dish that they are used in.
Whether you are an avid grower or a chef looking to bolster their dishes with fresh ingredients, our mushroom grow kit products will provide you with an easy and trouble-free means of growing mushrooms. Each kit includes everything needed for successful growing: the correct drill bit to create the right size of hole, the plug spawn, soya log wax, a wax application brush and, of course, instructions, as well as recipes.