Pholiota Adiposa: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Pholiota Adiposa Mushroom
Pholiota Adiposa is a stunning example of a mushroom with small rounded brown caps, bits of the veil often stick to the cap after it has opened before harvest. The common name chestnut has been mistakenly applied to the baby bella or crimini mushroom, agaricus bisporus because of the shape and color. This particular mushroom is selectively cultivated in the United States and brings something extra special to the dinner table.
Chestnut Mushroom is found in Europe. It is rich in polysaccharides which the body uses as a primary source of energy and has been shown to have antibacterial and anti-tumor properties It is quite rare to find in stores as not many growers are cultivating them. If you want to experience them, it is best to grow them yourself!
This mushroom has a unique make-up, so after the cooking process, it maintains a very particular texture, almost crunching even after the chitin walls have been weakened by being cooked.
Other names: Chestnut Mushroom, Fat Pholiota, Numerisugitake (Japanese), Slijmsteelbundelzwan (Dutch).
Pholiota Adiposa Identification
Occurrence on wood substrate
Saprobic/parasitic; typically in clusters on dead or living deciduous or conifer wood; July through November.
Caps 4-15 cm wide; stipes 5-7.5 cm long and 5-15 mm thick.
Sticky to slippery/slimy; yellow to yellowish-orange; surface covered with large, flattened, wine-red scales.
Attached; yellowish at first, becoming rusty-brown.
Dry; colored like the cap or paler; scaly below the ring, whitish above the ring.
Fibrous, whitish, partial veil leaving an evanescent ring or zone of fibers on the upper stalk.
Pholiota Adiposa Cultivation
Step 1: Obtain the Mushroom Spawn
Spores are the "seeds" or reproductive bodies of mushrooms and are typically harvested from the underside of the mushroom cap.
Each spore has all the necessary elements required to form new fungi. As the spores germinate, they begin to create a network of cells collectively called the mycelium. This mycelium is then transferred onto a substance that supports and promotes their growth – the substrate. The entire structure (mycelium plus substrate) is referred to as the spawn.
Step 2: Choose Your Substrate
Simply put, the substrate is the growing medium — or "soil" — that you will use to grow your mushrooms.
There are three principal types of substrate that growers commonly use to grow Chestnut mushrooms. Depending on how you choose to buy your spawn, it will generally already be in the substrate:
This is sterilized sawdust that’s inoculated with chestnut mycelium. It is ideal for outdoor mushroom beds and logs.
The main advantage of using them is the fact that they have many more inoculation points when transferred onto a suitable substrate. This is in large part due to the small and numerous sawdust particles.
This uses sterilized grain in place of sawdust. The most popular types of grain used with mycelium cultures include millet and rye, although you can use wheat, corn, and other different kinds of cereal grains.
Since grain is more nutrient-rich compared to sawdust, it is an excellent choice if you intend to grow your mushrooms indoors.
If you plan to use fiber or wood substrates, plug spawn is your best bet. It readily colonizes logs, wood stumps, and even cardboard. Plug spawn can be made from a collection of live mushroom stems or small wooden dowels that have been inoculated with mycelium.
Step 3: Inoculation
Introduce your chestnut mushroom spawn onto your substrate.
Choose which type of substrate you would like to use, and then inoculate your substrate.
Make your substrate from potting soil, peat moss, and compost. To use this method, add equal parts of sterile compost, potting soil, and peat moss in a container. Then add the chestnut spores to the surface of the soil and water the mixture to make it moist. Cover with clear plastic wrap and poke holes on the surface to create air passageways.
Step 4: Incubate the Spawn
The next step is the incubation phase. Here’s what you need to do:
Place the inoculated substrate in a dark area
Mist it with water every day to keep it moist
Don’t expose it to direct sunlight
Keep the temperatures between 60°F (16 °C) and 80°F (27 °C)
During incubation, the mycelium completely colonizes the substrate. The process could take anywhere between a couple of weeks to a couple of months. By the end of it, you should see a solid white mycelium mat coating its surface. This means that it’s ready for fruiting.
Step 5: Place Substrate Into Fruiting Conditions
After a few days, you’ll notice mushroom pinheads forming on the surface. These are what eventually grow into full-sized chestnut mushrooms and take 7 to 10 days to mature after you first see the pins.
At this stage, you will need to ensure that the mushrooms have adequate airflow.
Mushrooms produce carbon dioxide and will suffocate if they don’t have enough air.
Chestnut mushrooms do need moisture to grow. If the location in which you are growing your mushrooms is very dry, then consider using a plastic garbage bag as a humidity tent. Make sure that you slice some holes through the plastic to allow for adequate ventilation.
Step 6: Harvest Your Chestnut Mushrooms
Your mushrooms should be ready a week or so after the pinheads have formed. To harvest the mature chestnut mushrooms, gently twist or pull them away from the substrate they’re growing on. Be careful not to pull out too much soil to allow for more mushrooms to sprout from it.
In another week or two, you’ll have a new crop ready for harvesting. The subsequent harvests will continue to decrease as you exhaust the substrate. At that point, you’ll either need to purchase a new growing kit or create a new spawn.
Pholiota Adiposa Cooking Notes
The mild earthy flavor has notes of a peppery finish, and the texture excites an average dish with variation and plays very well in creme sauces. It excels in miso and other brothy soups, or add it to a stir fry or substitute into your favorite sauce recipe. It can also be seared with garlic and oil or butter and added atop a salad or in spring rolls.
Pholiota Adiposa Taxonomy & Etymology
Described in 1786 by German naturalist and mycologist August Johann Georg Karl Batsch, who named it Agaricus adiposus - a name subsequently sanctioned by Elias Magnus Fries - this scalycap mushroom was moved to the genus Pholiota by another famous German mycologist, Paul Kummer, thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Pholiota adiposa.
Synonyms of Pholiota adiposa include Agaricus adiposus Batsch and Dryophila adiposa (Batsch).
The generic name Pholiota means scaly, and the specific epithet adiposa comes from the Latin noun adeps meaning lard, or grease - a reference to the greasy cap surface of this woodland mushroom.
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