Mushrooms and their classification as vegetables

Mushrooms and their classification as vegetables

The "Fungi" order

In contrast to plants, fungi do not carry out photosynthesis and their fruiting bodies are usually not made of cellulose but of chitin. Together with their other properties, this puts mushrooms in an unusual intermediate position between animals and plants. From a botanical point of view, mushrooms are not a vegetable, but with their different species are subsumed under the separate order “Fungi” of all mushroom plants.

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The culinary uses of mushrooms

Mushrooms are sometimes moved close to fruit, although they actually lack the typically sweet taste. The use of mushrooms in the kitchen allows a culinary proximity to vegetables. After all, chopped mushrooms and other edible mushrooms are often sautéed with vegetables such as leeks or onions and served as an accompaniment to meat dishes.

Mushrooms as a condiment for vegetables

Mushrooms can also be used as a spice to give mixed vegetables and soups made from pureed vegetables a particularly fine, nutty taste. Fresh mushrooms from the forest or from mushroom cultivation in the cellar can be used for this. In the cold season you can also use dried mushrooms or the popular porcini mushroom flour.

Drying mushrooms for vegetable dishes

After rainy periods in summer and autumn, collectors often find more mushrooms than can be consumed fresh. These can be cut into slices and dried in the sun or in the oven at 50 degrees Celsius. As a natural and healthy spice, dried mushrooms refine many vegetable dishes with their delicate taste nuances. Porcini mushroom flour made from dried and ground porcini mushrooms add a nutty flavor to vegetable soups.

Tips & Tricks

The classification of mushrooms as vegetables may not necessarily be botanically correct, but it makes sense in terms of taste. Mushrooms are often a healthy and low-calorie alternative to meat dishes. Similar to some types of vegetables, some types of mushrooms, such as porcini mushrooms, have a strong taste of their own, which can also be used for seasoning purposes.