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14.03.2021 | Perspective

The Future is Fungal

For millennia, mushrooms have been revered for their medicinal and spiritual uses. Now the fungi are finally getting their due.

Fungus Mushroom closeup on blue background by Fanette Guilloud

Words by:

Team ENSEMBL

Mushrooms are having a moment.

 

From keen foraging, beauty and plant parent communities, to the ongoing psilocybin debate across medical fields, it seems there’s no escaping the expansive reach of mycelia.

 

With Oregon and Washington state legalizing the use of psilocybin in medical treatment, many are wondering whether the widespread use of psychedelics might be a defining feature of the coming decades in American medicine.

 

Until then, consumers and neophyte hobbyists alike are making do with mushroom powders, teas, and coffee replacements – driving an industry that’s now worth over $23 billion.

large foraged wild mushrooms

No longer on the fringe, mushrooms have migrated from hippie kitchens to the racks of Nordstrom.

 

The fruiting bodies of the fungus family have appeared on the clothes of celebrities like Bella Hadid, and at the top of bestseller lists, as with Michael Pollan’s 2021 release, This Is Your Mind On Plants and 2019’s Fantastic Fungi becoming a fan favorite on Netflix. With 2022 well underway, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down – and we’re not mad about it.

Whether or not psychedelic mushrooms will be hitting pharmacy shelves any time soon remains to be seen. For now, we’re mainly enjoying the renewed interest in fungal flavor profiles in the dining space. Here are some of our favorite fungus-forward recipes, guaranteed to transform your dinner.

White capped mushrooms growing
ENSEMBL hot + sour mushroom soup recipe
ENSEMBL's Local Hot + Sour Mushroom Soup by Chef Vicky Tran

 

  1. Local Mushroom Hot + Sour Soup: An ENSEMBL original, this hearty soup comes together in twenty minutes and tastes great the next day.
  2. Fungi Trifolati: A popular Spanish tapa gets an Italian makeover in this rendition of Champinones Al Ajillo by Toronto Chef Massimo Capra.
  3. Mushroom Chicharròn Tacos: Grilled oyster mushrooms contrast sharp pico de gallo in this meat-free take on the classic fried delicacy. Courtesy of Jocelyn Ramirez (@la_yoselin).
ENSEMBL's Local Hot + Sour Mushroom Soup by Chef Vicky Tran

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