September 1997 Issue

Foraging for Mushrooms the Safe, Healthful Way

For centuries, chefs around the world have prized mushrooms for their flavor-enhancing abilities. The flavorful fungus gets its meaty and savory taste partly from naturally occurring glutamate, the same amino acid found in monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is said to be responsible for that elusive taste dubbed umami, or savory. (See EN, July 1997.) Because mushroom hunting can have such dire (read fatal) consequences, cultivation became popular long ago, as early as the

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