Oyster Mushrooms

Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom, is a common edible mushroom. It was first cultivated in Germany as a subsistence measure during World War I and is now grown commercially around the world for food. It is related to the similarly cultivated king oyster mushroom. Oyster mushrooms can also be used industrially for mycoremediation purposes. The oyster mushroom is one of the more commonly sought wild mushrooms, though it can also be cultivated on straw and other media. It has the bittersweet aroma of benzaldehyde which is also characteristic of bitter almonds.

Both the Latin and common names refer to the shape of the fruiting body. The Latin pleurotus (sideways) refers to the sideways growth of the stem with respect to the cap, while the Latin ostreatus (and the English common name, oyster) refers to the shape of the cap which resembles the bivalve of the same name. Many also believe that the name is fitting due to a flavor resemblance to oysters.

The name oyster mushroom is also applied to other Pleurotus species, so P. ostreatus is sometimes referred to as the Tree Oyster Mushroom or the Grey Oyster Mushroom[5] to differentiate it from other species in the genus. Other names may exist:

Oyster Shelf
Tree Oyster
Straw Mushroom[citation needed]
Hiratake ("Flat Mushroom" in Japanese)

The mushroom has a broad, fan or oyster-shaped cap spanning 5–25 cm; natural specimens range from white to gray or tan to dark-brown; the margin is inrolled when young, and is smooth and often somewhat lobed or wavy. The flesh is white, firm, and varies in thickness due to stipe arrangement. The gills of the mushroom are white to cream, and descend on the stalk if present. If so, the stipe is off-center with a lateral attachment to wood. The spore print of the mushroom is white to lilac-gray, and best viewed on dark background. The mushroom's stipe is often absent. When present, it is short and thick.

The oyster mushroom is frequently used in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cookery as a delicacy. It is frequently served on its own, in soups, stuffed, or in stir-fry recipes with soy sauce. Oyster mushrooms are sometimes made into a sauce, used in Asian cooking, which is similar to oyster sauce. The mushroom's taste has been described as mild with a slight odor similar to anise. The oyster mushroom is best when picked young; as the mushroom ages, the flesh becomes tough and the flavor becomes acrid and unpleasant.

Oyster mushrooms are widely cultivated and used in Kerala, India where a wide variety of dishes are prepared from them. Oyster mushrooms are mainly cultivated in large clear polyethylene bags with buns of hay layered in the bags, and spawn sown between the layers.

Oyster mushrooms are also used in the Czech and Slovak contemporary cuisine in soups and stews in a similar fashion to meat.

Oyster mushrooms contain small amounts of arabitol, a sugar alcohol, which may cause gastrointestinal upset in some people.

I will briefly present some of the most worldwide cultivated oyster mushroom species. An important aspect worth considering here is that some Pleuortus species are thermophilic (they love higher temperature ~30-32 °C / 86-89.6 F) while some other species are chriophilic (lower temperatures such as ~8-15 °C / 46.4-59 F are more suitable for their development). Taking into account this, we may choose what species to cultivate and in what season. Another important aspect is the sensitivity level of the mushroom; therefore we have more or less sensible species to the environmental factors present in the grow room. One thing is certain, these factors influence the mushroom developmental process, and are composed of biotic (e. g., competitive molds, flies, nematods, or other competitive mushrooms for the same substrate), while a-biotic factors refer to developmental conditions such as: temperature, humidity, ventilation, and light.

Species of Cultivated Pleurotus:

1. Pleurotus citrinopileatus (golden oyster mushroom)
2. P. djamor (flamingo, salmon or pink oyster mushroom)
3. P. eryngii (king oyster mushroom)
4. P. ostreatus (oyster mushroom)
5. P. florida (the Florida oyster)
6. P. pulmonarius (the lung oyster, Phoenix mushroom)
7. P. cornucopiae (branched oyster mushroom)
8. P. columbinus
9. P. cystidiosus
10. P. flabellatus

3 thoughts on “Oyster Mushrooms”

  1. Are Oyster Mushrooms Good for You? 5 Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms

    Lower Cholesterol Levels
    Alleviate Inflammation
    Packed with Antioxidants
    May Block Cancer Growth
    Boost Brain Health
    1. May Lower Cholesterol Levels
    Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found throughout your body and is essential for health. Cholesterol is an important component of your cell membranes and is required for the synthesis of cholesterol, bile acids, and certain vitamins and hormones. Excess cholesterol, however, can build up in your blood, forming fatty deposits in the arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.

    Oyster mushrooms have been shown to help lower cholesterol naturally and fast in some animal studies. A study published in the journal Mycobiology, for example, showed that supplementation with oyster mushrooms helped reduce total cholesterol levels by 37 percent and lowered triglycerides by 45 percent in rats. Still, more studies are needed to determine how oyster mushrooms may affect cholesterol levels in humans.

    2. Alleviate Inflammation
    Inflammation is a normal immune response designed to protect the body against infection and disease. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is believed to be associated with a higher risk of conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

    Oyster mushrooms have been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. According to a test-tube study published in Nutrition Journal, oyster mushrooms were able to reduce the secretion of multiple markers of inflammation in the body. This could have far-reaching benefits, as decreasing inflammation may help provide relief from many inflammatory conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease.

    3. Packed with Antioxidants
    Antioxidants are compounds that help fight free radicals and prevent damage to cells. Research suggests that antioxidants may play a central role in health and disease and can help fight oxidative stress to reduce the risk of certain chronic conditions.

    Some studies have found that oyster mushrooms are loaded with health-promoting antioxidants, which may account for their multitude of health benefits. In fact, both test-tube and animal studies have shown that oyster mushrooms are effective at increasing antioxidant levels in the body and neutralizing harmful free radicals.

    4. May Block Cancer Growth
    One of the most impressive oyster mushroom benefits is its powerful effect on cancer cells. Thanks to their high content of antioxidants as well as their anti-inflammatory properties, oyster mushrooms may be able to help inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer, making oysters mushrooms potential cancer-fighting foods.

    A test-tube study conducted by the Methodist Research Institute’s Cancer Research Laboratory in Indianapolis found that oyster mushrooms were able to inhibit the growth and spread of breast and colon cancer cells. Similarly, another test-tube study in 2011 showed that oyster mushroom extract had therapeutic effects against colorectal tumor and leukemia cells.

    5. Boost Brain Health
    Believe it or not, what you eat can have a major impact on the health of your brain and may even influence your risk of neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. Certain vitamins and minerals, in particular, are especially important when it comes to brain health.

    Oyster mushrooms are rich in many of the nutrients believed to enhance brain function. Niacin, for instance, has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in older adults in clinical research. Meanwhile, a 2014 review out of Belgium suggested that riboflavin supplementation may have therapeutic effects against Brown’s syndrome, a type of motor neuron disorder.

    “Dr. Josh Axe”

  2. Oyster Mushroom Nutrition

    Take a look at the oyster mushrooms nutrition profile, and it’s easy to see why they’re so good for you. They’re extremely low in calories but contain a good chunk of protein, fiber, niacin and riboflavin.

    One cup of sliced oyster mushrooms (about 86 grams) contains approximately:

    37 calories
    5.6 grams carbohydrates
    2.8 grams protein
    0.4 gram fat
    2 grams dietary fiber
    4.3 milligrams niacin (21 percent DV)
    0.3 milligram riboflavin (18 percent DV)
    1.1 milligrams pantothenic acid (11 percent DV)
    103 milligrams phosphorus (10 percent DV)
    361 milligrams potassium (10 percent DV)
    0.2 milligram copper (10 percent DV)
    0.1 milligram thiamine (7 percent DV)
    23.2 micrograms folate (6 percent DV)
    1.1 milligrams iron (6 percent DV)
    0.1 milligram manganese (5 percent DV)
    0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (5 percent DV)

    In addition to the nutrients listed above, oyster mushrooms also contain a small amount of magnesium, zinc and selenium.

  3. Oyster Mushroom Uses and Where to Find Oyster Mushrooms

    Oyster mushrooms taste mild with a delicate flavor and a licorice-like scent often compared to anise seed. They are popular for their tender and smooth texture and are versatile enough to swap into just about any recipe. Additionally, much like other types of mushrooms, such as cremini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms can be enjoyed either raw or cooked.

    These mushrooms are frequently found in many types of Asian cuisine, including a variety of Japanese, Korean and Chinese dishes. They have also made their way into the cuisines of other countries around the world, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where oyster mushrooms are sometimes used to provide a meaty texture and flavor to traditional stews.

    Oyster mushrooms can be seasoned and served on their own for a flavorful side dish or added to soups and stir-fries. They can also bump up the flavor and nutritional value of recipes like burgers, pastas or omelettes.

    If you don’t have the means to start hunting or growing oyster mushrooms in your backyard, you’re in luck. Thanks to their growing popularity, oyster mushrooms are now available at many grocery stores and farmers markets. They’re typically available in fresh, dried or even canned form for a quick and convenient addition to your favorite recipes.

    The oyster mushrooms price can vary widely but tends to be comparable to other types of mushroom like shiitake mushrooms. In general, you can expect to pay around $10–$12 for a pound of fresh oyster mushrooms.

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