Mushroom Powder Gets You Big Flavor in a (Literal) Pinch

I bought a container containing cholera in the early days before the pandemic. Totole granulated mushroom bouillonAttracted to the smiling mushroom mascot (a true fun-guy!) This do-it-all personality is a real pro. mushroom powder “makes everything delicious,” according to the Amazon listing. Aside from its use as a soup base, it is a powerful flavor enhancer—basically MSG on ’shrooms (MSGThe main ingredient is dehydrated mushrooms.

I’ve been intrigued by mushroom powder ever since. There are many types of mushroom powder, from the glutamate bomb made of powdered Bouillon to the unadulterated ground fungi. Mushroom powders come in clutch in the kitchen when the flavors of what I’m cooking fall just a little short, and are especially useful in vegetarian dishes that don’t feel complex enough. Here’s what you need to know about the magical world of mushroom powder.

Totole Granulated Mushroom Bouillon

What is mushroom powder?

Mushroom powder in its purest form is nothing more than mushroomsThey are then finely ground and dehydrated. The type of mushrooms used in powder depends on the purveyor: Porcini, shiitake mushroom powdersThey are most commonly available, but you can also find blends made with specialty mushrooms. As Nikki DeGidio, kitchen manager of Seattle’s Foraged & Found Edibles, explains, “There are so many mushroom powders out right now, especially with the booming medicinal market, that it can get a little confusing.” So, let’s break that down!

There are two main categories for mushroom powders: Culinary powders, which you’ll find from spice sellers, Powders for medicinal purposes, which you’ll see in the wellness aisle (that’s different, of course, from, er, magical mushrooms). Often made with lion’s mane and reishi mushrooms, the latter are branded with a focus on potential health benefits like cognitive support(Some studies have suggested that mushrooms may be beneficial to the body. may have positive effects on brain health in humansConsumed frequently. The two aren’t mutually exclusive though; as Michael Crowe, owner of Phoenix’s Southwest MushroomsMany mushrooms are both flavorful, as this explanation explains. functional.

What does it taste?

Crowe states that mushrooms have a different flavor and smell. Crowe says that this could impact how you use them. Lion’s mane powder, with its subtle cocoa scent, is mild enough to add to anything, he says, while maitake powder is darker in color and earthier in taste, and shiitake powder is even more pungent. A mix of mushrooms can add complexity: Foraged & Found Edibles’s wild mushroom powder has a toasty, caramel, maple aroma that DeGidio attributes to its blend of foraged varieties, including chanterelle, porcini, lobster, morel, and hedgehog mushrooms.​

Pay attention to what you’re buying: Some wellness products, like drink mixes, aren’t intended for cooking and often include other flavors.

How do I use mushroom powder?

DeGidio loves to use mushroom powder in homemade breakfast sausages. However, he also recommends using it as a seasoning for potatoes and meat, and as a warm vinaigrette. For best results, steep mushroom powder a broth that tastes flavorful fast, or add it to sauces, soups, beans, greens, and baked goods—really, anything in which you want a little more oomph. To infuse every bite of his food with mushroom flavor potato gnocchiStefano Secchi, a chef from Italy, makes his porcini powder by grinding dried mushrooms and then adding it to the dough. Crowe claims that some chefs have used his mushroom powders to make gluten-free breads.

“There are Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many applications for mushroom powder,” DeGidio says. “But the key is: It must be exposed to heat in order to flower, just like other spices.. You won’t get the depth of flavor and aroma if you simply try to sprinkle it on top of cooked food as a finish.”

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