Blue Foot mushrooms, scientifically known as Agaricus bitorquis, are fungi that thrive in temperate climates and grow wild throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. The mushroom is recognized by its bright blue color on the underside of its cap, hence the name “blue foot.”
It has a pleasant and mild taste with a hint of almond, making it popular among mushroom enthusiasts. Here, we’ll learn more about blue foot mushrooms’ physical characteristics, nutritional benefits, and culinary uses.
What are Blue Foot Mushrooms?
Blue Foot mushrooms are a species of the Agaricus family, including white and brown button mushrooms. They have a convex-shaped cap, typically 2 to 8 centimeters in diameter, with a smooth texture and whitish color when young, transitioning to light tan as it matures. On the underside of the cap lies the main distinguishing feature—its bright blue color. The stem is white and can be up to 4 centimeters tall with a bulbous base that tapers at the top.
History and Origin of the Blue Foot Mushrooms
Blue foot mushrooms, sometimes called “blue-footed mushrooms” or “bluematsutake,” have become increasingly popular among mushroom enthusiasts in recent years. Despite their newfound fame, however, the origins of this variety are still relatively unknown.
The name bluematsutake is derived from its Japanese origin and means ‘pine mushroom.’ It is believed that the ancient Japanese used blue foot mushrooms for medicinal purposes due to their strong aromatic qualities and purported health benefits. Due to its exotic nature, only a little is known about blue foot mushroom in terms of cultivation or production. However, it is widely accepted that they grow naturally in Europe and North America in temperate climates and tend to thrive in the autumn months.
The unique blue-hued tones that characterize these mushrooms result from a chemical reaction between pigments known as pheomelanin and eumelanin. This chemical process makes them stand out from other species of mushrooms, which often appear dull or even pale brown. Given its rarity and lack of cultivation methods, blue foot mushroom still need to be found and procured on a larger scale. As such, they have become a delicacy among gourmet chefs who prize their distinct flavor and presentation value. However, with the rise in popularity of foraging has come an increase in knowledge surrounding the production and availability of these rare mushrooms.
Health Benefits of Blue Foot Mushrooms
Blue foot mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients, making them beneficial to a healthy diet. They contain proteins, carbs, dietary fiber, vitamins B1 and B2, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Furthermore, they have been proven to contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
The presence of antioxidants in blue foot mushroom is beneficial for preventing cell damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to several diseases. Additionally, the high fiber content in this mushroom variety helps reduce cholesterol levels and promote digestive health.
Where are Blue Foot Mushrooms Grown and Harvested?
Blue foot mushrooms are grown and harvested in the cool, moist climates of North America, Japan, Korea, and Europe. They require specific growing conditions to flourish: a temperature range between 45-55°F (7-13°C) with optimal humidity levels of 95%. They can be found in dense forests on decaying logs, stumps, or dead trees that have been cut down.
The mushrooms begin to grow shortly after precipitation falls on the woody substrate and continues throughout the summer when soil temperatures remain consistently cool. Blue foot mushroom should be hand picked off the wood using gloves due to their delicate nature.
They should then be carefully inspected for any signs of insects or rot before being stored in a refrigerator for future use. When harvesting blue foot mushroom, always leave some behind to promote the growth of future generations. Taking too many can disrupt the delicate balance in nature and reduce their availability for future harvests.
Flavor Profile of the Blue Foot Mushroom
The blue foot mushroom is known for its unique and earthy flavor. It has a mild, nutty taste with notes of creamy garlic, grassy tones, and even hints of anise. Additionally, the mushrooms have a light and soft texture that is similar to that of chanterelle mushrooms.
Where to Find the Best Quality Blue Foot Mushrooms?
The best place to find quality blue foot mushroom is at your local farmers market or specialty grocer. In addition, some websites provide customers with fresh and dried blue foot mushroom. You can also search online for local mushroom farms that may provide new or dried varieties of mushrooms.
Be sure to check reviews of any source you purchase from before purchasing to ensure the quality of their product. Additionally, be aware that different varieties and grades of blue foot mushrooms are available on the market, so it is important to do your research and be familiar with what type you need for your recipe before buying.
Lastly, when purchasing fresh mushrooms, ensure they have no visible signs of decay or damage and are not slimy or moldy. Dried mushrooms should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for optimal preservation. With the right sourcing methods, you can easily find high-quality blue foot mushroom to incorporate into your cooking.
How to Store Blue Foot Mushrooms?
The best way to store blue-foot mushroom is to keep them in a paper bag or a breathable cloth sack. Do not store the mushrooms in an airtight container because this will cause the mushroom to become slimy. Place your bag or sack inside the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It is important to check on the mushrooms each day, as they are delicate and can easily spoil if they are checked on.
If you wish to store your mushrooms for longer, consider drying them. This can be done by either air-drying or using a dehydrator. Air-drying requires laying the mushrooms on parchment paper in a single layer and placing them in an area with good air circulation and no direct sunlight. Allow the mushrooms to dry for two days before storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Use a food dehydrator set to 95°F (35°C) for about 5 hours for best results. Once completely dry, store the dried blue foot mushrooms in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to one year.
Finally, you mustn’t wash your blue foot mushroom before storage. Washing the mushrooms can cause them to spoil faster and reduce their flavor. If you need to wash the mushrooms, ensure they are fully dry before storing them.
How to Use Blue Foot Mushrooms in Recipes?
Blue Foot mushrooms are a versatile and delicious addition to any dish. They can be used to add flavor, texture, and nutrition to your meals. Here are some easy ways to start incorporating Blue Foot into your recipes!
- Combine Blue Foot mushrooms with other vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and garlic. This is an excellent way to create a flavorful base for soups, sauces, or stir-frys.
- Blue Foot mushrooms can also be used as a flavorful addition to omelettes, quiches, and other egg dishes.
- Create a savory side dish by sautéing Blue Foot mushrooms with shallots, garlic, and herbs.
- Use Blue Foot mushrooms to create an amazing vegan alternative to traditional burgers. Simply combine the mushrooms with walnuts and other vegetables until you get a delicious patty.
- Spice up your favorite soup recipes by adding Blue Foot mushrooms. The mushrooms will add an earthy flavor that pairs well with a variety of soups.
These are just some of the ways to incorporate Blue Foot Mushroom into your cooking! Whether you’re looking for extra
Blue foot mushrooms are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes. They have an earthy, mild flavor with notes of creamy garlic, grassy tones, and even hints of anise. Be sure to source your blue foot mushroom from reputable sources, and always check reviews before purchasing. Additionally, consider drying them if you wish to store them for longer. With proper storage and preparation, fresh mushrooms will be ready to add flavor and texture to any meal. Enjoy!