Oyster mushrooms: the appearance of mushrooms, where they occur, properties, application
Oyster mushroom is a common edible mushroom that they have learned to successfully grow at home without a lot of financial investment. The article describes the appearance of oyster mushrooms, useful properties for the body, how much the product costs at points of sale, and how to properly collect the mushroom in the wild.
Description and types
Oyster mushroom, or oyster mushroom belongs to the genus of oyster mushrooms from the family oyster mushrooms. It is a family of many mushrooms of different sizes, depending on age. Adult specimens have a hat diameter of about 15 cm, but they are often found 30 cm. The hat is very fleshy, in the form of a circle with a thin edge.
Young oyster mushrooms are curved, with the edges turned inward, old ones are flat or funnel-shaped, with wavy or lobed edges. The surface is shiny, often wavy and smooth. If the fungus grows in conditions of high humidity, the hat has a mycelial coating on the surface. The age of the fungus can be determined by color: the young specimen has a dark gray surface with a brown tint, the old one has gray-violet.
The plates under the hat are rarely located, have a width of 3 to 15 mm and a downward position in relation to the leg. The color is white in young specimens and yellow-gray in old ones. The plates contain a white-pink spore powder, which is represented by cylindrical smooth spores.
Important! Features of the characteristics of oyster mushrooms should be remembered so as not to confuse an edible mushroom with inedible doubles in the forest.
The leg of the mushroom is small, in the form of an uneven cylinder, which tapers toward the base, has a dense structure, an eccentric or lateral arrangement. The length is not more than 5 cm, thickness - up to 3 cm. The color is white in the upper part with a brownish tint at the base, the surface is smooth. In old mushrooms, the leg will look shriveled, rough and hard to the touch.
There are several common types of oyster mushrooms, among which are:
Edibility and taste
Oyster mushrooms are completely edible mushrooms, they not only have good taste, but also have a beneficial effect on the human body. The mushroom pulp tastes good, without a pronounced smell, but after cooking it resembles the aroma of anise, due to the content of a small amount of benzaldehyde (aromatic substance). Young mushrooms are tastier, and they are recommended to be eaten. During the growth of the fungus, the pulp becomes fibrous and rough, which spoils the taste of the product.
Did you know? Oyster mushroom belongs to predatory fungi, it is able to paralyze and digest nematodes, due to the content of a toxic substance - in this way the fungus produces nitrogen.
Where and at what time do they grow?
Oyster mushrooms are common in the temperate climate zone, prefer woodland. They can be found in the wild in Europe, South America and Asia.The period of active growth of fungi falls in the fall; maximum crops are harvested from September to OctoberHowever, in a warm climate it can bear fruit until November - early December. If the conditions for growth are favorable, it may appear from May to June.
The fungus belongs to saprophytes, therefore, as a place of growth, it selects stumps, fallen trees, dead wood, sick weakened trees: oak, mountain ash, willow, birch, poplar. It is rarely seen in a mixed forest on coniferous species of plants. If it settles on a tree trunk, then it will be difficult to notice an oyster mushroom for a mushroom picker - the growth height often exceeds 2 m.
When and how to collect?
Mushrooms are harvested during their active growth in the fall months.. If it is rainy, cool weather, you can go to the deciduous forest for a "quiet hunt". When collecting oyster mushrooms, pay attention to size, do not cut families with large hats, they are already overripe and have become unusable. It is necessary to cut off the whole family at once, without leaving small mushrooms - they will still die without large relatives. It is better to wield with a sharp large knife, which will allow you to cut off the entire family at a time without damaging the mycelial layer.
It is necessary to put the harvest in wide containers, it is better in wicker basketsthat will preserve the integrity of the mushrooms and allow them to be transported over long distances without loss of commercial quality.
Did you know? The first to grow oyster mushrooms on an industrial scale began in Hungary in the 60s. XX century
The cost of oyster mushrooms
A kilogram of fresh mushroom costs an average of $ 2, which is equivalent to 130 rubles. Regardless of the season, the price of oyster mushroom is stable, as it does not depend on weather conditions. Oyster mushroom, which is sold in a store, is not collected in the forest; it is grown on special mushroom farms..
In Europe, artificial cultivation of mushrooms has long been established, which is notable for its low cost. Oyster mushrooms do not require specific conditions for growing or selecting a unique substrate, as they grow well on sawdust, straw, bark, sunflower husk, sugarcane waste.
Due to the fact that oyster mushroom grows in large families, up to 420 kg / m² per year can be cultivated in a small area
Properties and Application
Fresh mushrooms contain 38 kcal per 100 g, but during the heat treatment, calorie content drops to 23 kcal per 100 g. Oyster mushrooms are low-calorie, but at the same time very nutritious, therefore they are recommended for use as a dietary product that allows you to maintain weight in a stable state.
The fungus contains the maximum amount of protein and amino acids, so it is often compared with vegetable crops, and it is richer in the content of fats and carbohydrates.
Oyster mushroom has a rich vitamin composition, which is represented by vitamins of groups B, C, E, D. The amount of vitamin PP among all edible mushrooms in the oyster mushroom is maximum. With regular consumption of the product, the body is enriched with enzymes that break down fats and glycogen, which helps reduce blood cholesterol.
Mineral substances occupy about 8% of the composition, they are represented by iron, potassium, iodine and calcium.
- The rich chemical composition of oyster mushrooms allows you to:
- have a bactericidal effect;
- remove radionuclides from the body;
- increase the body's resistance to viruses and infections;
- reduce the effect of radiation therapy.
Oyster mushrooms are usually used as a food product: it is boiled, fried, baked, salted, pickled, canned, made with mushroom paste. In addition, oyster mushrooms, due to its rich chemical composition, are used in folk medicine for the preparation of medicinal decoctions and tinctures that allow you to treat purulent wounds, soothe the nervous system, and increase immunity. Medicines prepared on the basis of oyster mushrooms have a positive effect on the body with atherosclerosis, hypertension.
Contraindications and possible harm
Oyster mushrooms are a useful dietary product, however, with regular excessive consumption, they can have a negative effect on the body. Mushrooms are rich in chitin, which is very poorly digested by the body. To minimize the risk of gastrointestinal problems, the product must be subjected to heat treatment before eating. Thus, the amount of chitin is significantly reduced, and digestibility increases to 70%.
- Contraindications to the use of oyster mushrooms include:
- liver disease
- period of exacerbation of gastrointestinal diseases;
- gall bladder problems.
Important! Pregnant women and children under 12 years of age are not recommended to eat oyster mushrooms in food in order to avoid digestive problems.
Oyster mushrooms are tasty and healthy mushrooms that are common not only in the wild, but also grown on mushroom farms in an artificially created environment. To collect a large harvest in the forest, you must be able to distinguish oyster mushrooms from inedible doubles, as well as know where and when the mushroom grows.