Oyster Mushrooms. Yay Or Nay?

So for those that know me, you know that I HATE Mushrooms. Portabella Mushrooms, Baby Bella Mushrooms, Cremini Mushrooms, Button Mushrooms, all of them. Most of the Basic Mushrooms that you typically find in grocery stores. Even in many vegan recipes and menu options, I would look at them and actively say HELL NO, because ever since I was a child, mushrooms have been my sworn enemy. First time I saw someone make a Pulled Pork with a King Trumpet Mushroom, I said “they must have lost every single inch of their mind”. Now I will say that this past year and some change, my perspective on other mushrooms has changed significantly. It started with me seeing quite a few posts on instagram and how I could get calamari from oyster mushrooms and I was like “nahhhh”. So my birthday in 2018, I was in New York and ordered from a place called Three Brothers Pizza Cafe where I got Oyster Mushroom Calamari as well as a BBQ Chicken Pizza. And to simply state, I fell in love with it. About a Year Later, I had Oyster Mushroom Calamari again from New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, and it further solidified that oyster mushrooms are extremely bomb!

Last there was a job that a friend of mine had last year working at a Gluten-Free Bakery. They made plant-based quiches and would typically throw oyster mushrooms in there for extra texture. Since I was able to finesse quite a few free leftovers home from them, I had the chase  try them in a way where they weren’t battered and fried, and I kind of fell in love with how tender they are alone. After that, I took a trip to New York, where my younger cousin and I visited P.S. Kitchen right off of Times Square, and this really pushed me in the mushroom direction. I ordered Buffalo Wings that were based with Maitake Mushrooms, and I will say, I was not let down. They based vegan chicken wings with mushrooms, and they were beyond delicious! 

Now for me, a mushroom hater for life, I was truly getting blown away at how people have been able to take the different species of mushrooms and get creative to where I in 2019 could order Maitake Mushroom Chicken Wings! Now this same friend also worked at markets in the city where there was a vendor that sold different mushrooms, and I was having people rave to me about how good the different kinds were. So I took some Maitake Mushrooms home and made BBQ as well as Buffalo and I could do nothing but continue to be shocked at how much I used to hate the mushrooms that we usually find in stores, and how I was willing to become more open minded to the different mushrooms that don’t look, taste, smell, or have the same texture  like the ones that I grew up hating. And after over a year, I have recently been able to eat Shouk, where I’ve had the Oyster Mushroom Shwarma as well as the Oyster Mushroom Nuggets, and me eating there, is what sparked me eating this today. 

Now a few months ago, I decided to make King Trumpet Mushroom Scallops with Wine Butter sauce and Black Bean Pasta, and I was so pleasantly surprised to know that You can take nori Sheets, King Trumpet Mushrooms, a knife, water, Earth Balance, Sauvignon Blanc, and a bunch of other fix-ins and have an upscale plant-based dinner, and not miss out on the luxury of scallops (and I’m also not a huge fan of scallops, but mine were good). Not long after that I made Marinated BBQ Mushrooms and they were the most tender, juicy alternative to chicken that you can have. More recently I’ve made Lemon Pepper Oyster Mushrooms with quinoa, spinach kale and avocado, Jerk BBQ Skewers, and Garlic Oyster Mushrooms with Gluten-Free Penne, Spinach, Kale, Asparagus, Red Onion, Red Pepper, and a lot of Olive Oil. And they were all amazing. Now my next stop is Oyster Oyster to try their Oyster Mushroom Philly Steak and Sunflower Cheese Whiz.

Now from a nutritional aspect, oyster mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, folic acid, and numerous vitamins. All this to say, yes I know button mushrooms are one of the more disgusting you can eat, but if you let your guard down, open up your mind, and try you, you’ll probably like it!

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