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.

Mushrooms1-RJohn

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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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Lizzy (Good Things) July 3, 2014 at 5:08 am

Wow, those meals look delicious!
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Rosemarie John July 3, 2014 at 5:22 am

Oh yes Liz! They were… it was such a hearty breakfast that we are still not hungry yet! We might just skip lunch!

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Bronwyn Joy July 3, 2014 at 7:30 am

I recently learned how much nutritional variation there is between different species of mushroom, too. Turns out that, where I’m living, the cheaper ones are the best for me! (Although I’m sure it was opposite prices back home.)
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Rosemarie John July 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm

You’re in Singapore Bronwyn? When I was there, the only mushroom I ever ate voluntarily was shiitake mushrooms in my soup or beef rice! Which ones are you enjoying?

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Empty Rucksack July 3, 2014 at 8:52 am

When I read mushrooms, I first thought you were talking about the ones they grow in sumatra, the magic mushrooms.
Its nice to know there r so many varieties, and thanks for the various mix n match options

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Rosemarie John July 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Haha that sure must have peeked your interest! These are the definitely the legal kind and I must say I really did enjoy them!

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Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans July 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Oh, I love mushrooms and knew that they have health benefits, but I didn’t realize they have so many health benefits. I love eating mushrooms for breakfast like you guys did – especially with eggs. So good!
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Rosemarie John July 3, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Hi Dana, a few friends from Facebook and readers on Twitter have recommended a few restaurants to go try mushrooms at! So I’m pretty excited to see if every dish will have me loving them like I did in Chatterbox. But the health benefits are definitely amazing and did you know it’s neither a fruit nor vegetable? 🙂

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Fran July 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

I made those spiced mushrooms one evening and then turned them into a spiced mushroom hummus, it worked a treat for morning tea with corn chips.

I can’t even step outside at 7am, let alone go out for breakfast!
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Rosemarie John July 6, 2014 at 5:58 am

You know what Fran, I can step out at any hour of the day in the freezing cold if it means me not cooking! 🙂

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