Mushrooms have no chlorophyll (a green pigment in plants), so they don't need sunshine to grow and thrive.
Some of the earliest commercial farms were actually set up in caves in France during the reign of King Louis XIV (1638-1715).
One portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.
The truffle, a type of mushroom that grows below the ground, is one of the world's most expensive foods. One variety, Tuber melanosporum, can cost between $800 and $1500 a pound.
The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 square miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it's still growing!
In medieval Ireland, mushrooms were thought to be umbrellas for leprechauns. The English believed that mushrooms had to be gathered under a full moon to be edible.
Ancient Egyptians considered mushrooms the sons of the Gods, sent to earth riding on bolts of lightning. Egyptian pharaohs reserved mushrooms exclusively for the royal tables. Commoners, by royal decree, could not even possess them.
Ancient Romans thought that mushrooms gave them extraordinary strength in battle, and called them the "food of the Gods". Other cultures thought that mushrooms had powers that could make them have super-human strength, help them find lost objects, and lead their souls to the Gods.
Mushrooms are "saprophytes" and grow only on previously formed organic material.
Mushroom tissues are too delicate to survive in fossilized form, but a specimen (Coprinus dominacana) from the upper Eocene Age (over 30 million years ago) was discovered in a mass of amber.
Some mushrooms are bioluminescent, and the jack-o'-lantern mushroom (Clitocybe illudens) can produce enough light to read by.
In some grassy areas and forests, rings of bare soil may be seen. Every year, mushrooms grow along the edges of these rings. These are called Fairy Rings, due to an old folk tale that said that the rings of bare soil were footprints made by fairies while they danced around in rings. The mushrooms that came up in the rings were thought to be chairs where the fairies sat when they got tired from dancing.
Mushrooms are good sources of three B-complex vitamins - riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Percentage of Recommended Daily Intake:
Mushrooms are virtually free of fat and sodium, have no cholesterol and are very low in calories.
The crimini (brown) mushroom is simply a smaller version of the portobello.
Mushrooms are 90% water. When cooked, some water evaporates, concentrating juices and intensifying flavour.