How to consume mushrooms

How to consume mushrooms

The gírgolas (Pleurotus, from the Greek pleura, which means “side,” and otos, “ear”), very common in Europe and North America, grow in compact groups that resemble an oyster farm. Due to its firm flesh and sweet taste reminiscent of the aroma of wild mushrooms, the gírgola is a superb companion to meat and poultry. The common gargoyle and its southern French cousin, the thistle mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii), called the English king oystermen, is among the mushrooms with the highest anticancer activity on isolated tumour cells.
The medicinal properties of the girgola
Anticancer drugs

This mushroom has anticancer agents. It is also an antioxidant and has vitamins A, E, C, and selenium.
Viral infection

It stimulates the production of interferon in the body and has antiviral effects.
Lower cholesterol

This is possible thanks to the Eridani and the fibre of the fungus that contains chitin.

Low blood pressure
Prevent thrombosis

Researchers in Bangkok and Hawaii have experimentally shown that shiitake mushrooms can prevent coronary thrombosis.
Low blood sugar levels

The low content of carbohydrates and lysine prevents the formation of sugar in the blood.

Extracted in 1971, it lowered the cholesterol level in the human body and has also been subjected to animal experiments with satisfactory results. The experiments showed that after eating Gírgolas, the cholesterol levels were reduced between 5% and 10%.

This is a chemical that makes cells immune to viral infections. Tsunoda & Ishida discovered in 1970 that mushrooms contain an inducer of interferon-gamma, which is used to treat cancer and as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of hepatitis B and C.
Prostaglandin formation

The linoleic acid present in mushrooms is converted into different types of prostaglandins in the body. These are extracted from semen, and I know some people think they are excreted through the prostate, but now it is known that many tissues in the body produce them. Prostaglandin E1 is used to induce erections in men by intramuscular injection. Lentivirus increases T-cell production and has been shown to stimulate prostaglandin E1 production.

Research in Hungary shows that superoxide dismutase, an enzyme in shiitake mushrooms, can reduce lipid peroxidation. This is an important factor in preventing disease, especially coronary artery cancer, and is one of the theoretical reasons for longevity.

Finnish research shows that the addition of zinc will increase plasma testosterone levels and sperm count. When zinc is added to dialysate, male dialysis patients with urethral problems have also improved their sex lives. Zinc is present in these mushrooms.
Varieties of edible mushrooms

Wild mushroom

This type of mushroom is best known and was first consumed in Europe when it began to be made in France in the seventeenth century. It has a white or grayish colour, and its size can vary between 3 and 12 centimetres. Black foil mushrooms should not be harvested, as they can cause digestion problems.

It is much more palatable than he cultivates to the point that the chef Abraham García affirms with a sense of humour that comparing them is like comparing a scooter with a Ferrari.


The boletus (Boletus edulis) also receives boleto, mushroom, white mushroom, pambazo mushroom, or pumpkin mushroom in our country. It is highly appreciated from a gastronomic point of view to the point of being considered the “king mushroom.” It has a somewhat sweet taste, a fresh flour aroma and a characteristic brown colour. Although in its initial stage, the tone is whitish or greyish.

It is the mushroom with the highest ergothioneine content. In addition, it has abundant beta-glucans. In addition, it has a high content of selenium.


The chanterelle is abundant in Spain and is highly appreciated in Catalonia, where it takes the name of robellón. It is orange-red, with darker concentric bands and green hues at the bottom. It can be up to 15 centimetres in diameter. Its flavour is reminiscent of dried apricots, and its texture is very characteristic.

It has antimicrobial properties and a high content of flavonoids.

Black truffle

It has a rough texture and is black or dark brown. It stands out for its culinary value, to the point that it has come to be called the black diamond. Its exquisiteness and price are due, in part, to the difficulty of collecting it as it is an underground mushroom. It usually grows on the roots of oaks, hazelnuts and other trees.

St George’s mushroom

Also, know as a perrechico. They are white, with a splendid fleshy hat thicker in the center and with plates that present a great consistency. Special attention should be paid to collect them since this mushroom is easily confused with the amanitas, which are toxic and poisonous.

Here we have mentioned the most well-known mushrooms in our environment, but we could dedicate another article to other more exotic ones with proven therapeutic properties. Among them, we can mention reishi, shiitake, cordyceps, maitake, etc.

Nor should we forget the spring mushrooms of which we have only stopped at the Saint George mushroom. But the morel, the Marzullo, the senderuela are also included in this list.


Although we have seen that mushrooms are a fantastic food due to all their properties and benefits, the truth is that you have to be very careful when collecting them.

As you know, mushroom picking is a tradition in Spain. However, the person who collects them must have high knowledge of mycology since some varieties cause poisoning, causing serious damage ranging from gastrointestinal upset to death.

How to consume mushrooms

The fresher they are, the better to avoid increasing their toxicity and causing gastrointestinal disorders. Nor should they be eaten too dry.

It is known that medium and small specimens tend to have a finer flavour.

Before making a mushroom-based dish, we must clean them properly. Keep in mind that this food grows on the ground to arrive with traces of dirt.

Remove the soil with water. If necessary, use a brush to make cleaning more efficient. Once you have washed them, dry them with a dry cloth.

It is not recommended to leave them to soak for a while since the mushrooms could adopt a not very consistent texture.

Mushrooms have traditionally been associated with hunting on the table as the two exquisite products of autumn. However, there are different ways of eating mushrooms: in salads, sautéed with olive oil, as cream, with rice, along with a stew … We can even pass them through a pan just like we would with meat to make a delicious hamburger.