Ancient Egyptians believed that mushrooms were the plant of immortality.
Egyptian pharaohs were so intrigued by mushrooms, they would not allow commoners to touch them and declared the food was only fit for royalty.
Many civilizations believed that mushrooms contained magical healing powers.
Ancient Greeks and Romans welcomed thunderstorms because they believed that mushrooms appeared after lightning.
The first leading cultivator of mushrooms was France.
According to some accounts, Louis XIV was the first mushroom grower.
Southeastern Pennsylvania is still the largest center of mushroom production in the country.
September is National Mushroom Month.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is known as “The Mushroom Capital of the World.”
There are over 38,000 varieties of mushrooms through out the world and over 3,000 in North America alone.
One portabella mushroom has more potassium than a banana. White and crimini mushrooms are also good sources of potassium. Potassium helps the human body maintain normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function.
Grains and foods that come from animals are good sources of selenium. But in fresh produce, only mushrooms contain significant amounts of this mineral. Selenium plays an important role in the human immune system, the thyroid system, and the male reproductive system.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of copper, a mineral that a body needs to produce red blood cells and for other functions.
Mushrooms have significant amounts of three B-complex vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The B vitamins help release energy from the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in food.
Truffles, or mushrooms that grow below the ground, are one of the world’s most expensive foods. One variety, Tuber melanosporum, can cost between $800 and $1,500 a pound.
The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it’s still growing!