It’s Mushroom Month – Invite Them to the Party

September is National Mushroom Month, so we’re sharing some of our best food facts about everyone’s favorite fungi.

1. Mushrooms are not vegetables.

Because they have no leaves, roots or seeds, mushrooms are not a true vegetable. However, The U.S. Department of Agriculture does classify mushrooms as vegetables because they provide many of the nutritional attributes of vegetables, explained Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator of Nutrition, Food Safety, and Cooking at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

2. Mushrooms taste like meat.

Mushrooms have a strong umami flavor, one of the five basic tastes that is the savory, meaty quality of foods.  Mushrooms can be blended with ground meat to create a fresh take on favorite dishes.

3. Mushrooms are loaded with nutrients.

They are an excellent source of riboflavin and a good source of niacin, pantothenic acid, selenium and copper providing at least 10% to 19% of the daily value. Mushrooms are also a source of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D and calcium, four nutrients considered under-consumed by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

4. Mushrooms grow in the dark.

Half of all the mushrooms in the United States are grown in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Take a video tour of a farm to see how the fungi are grown and harvested.

5. White button mushrooms are the most common variety.

These mild-flavored mushrooms account for about 90 percent of all the mushrooms eaten in the Unites States. Learn more about the seven other most popular varieties. 

That makes five great reasons to enjoy mushrooms, especially during September’s National Mushroom Month. You can serve them as a main course, side dish or add flavor to a sandwich or pizza. There are lots of reasons to invite mushrooms to your next party!