Mad about mushrooms? Then September is the month for you to celebrate.
Mushrooms are flavorful and versatile enough to be included in a wide variety of dishes, as you'll see below in our restaurant suggestions. Not only are they delicious, mushrooms can also be beneficial to your health. Certain types, such as shitake, enoki and maitake, are reported to guard against cancer and enhance immune systems.
To celebrate National Mushroom Month, here are five fungi-related facts:
1. Although it is estimated that more than 140,000 species of mushrooms exist, only around 10 percent have been identified.
2. In ancient Egypt, mushrooms were linked to immortality. Mushrooms were so prized that the pharaohs proclaimed that only royalty could consume them.
3. Kennett Square, PA is known as "The Mushroom Capital of the World." More than 51 percent of the country's mushrooms are grown there. Every September for the past 26 years, the people there have held a mushroom festival.
4. Mycology is the scientific study of fungi, but if you're a real mushroom-lover, you probably already know that. If you want to interact with other people who share your passion, you might want to check out the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association. The association sponsors walks, lectures and other activities throughout the year. A paid membership also gets you a subscription to the newsletter Spores Illustrated.
5. If you're looking to whip up a meal, a collection of mushroom recipes to suit any mood can be found here.
If you're not the cooking kind, there are plenty of local restaurants that have mushrooms on the menu. in Vernon has a mushroom and barley soup. in Manchester features several mushroom omelets. in Storrs has a wild mushroom tart. in Ellington has a warm spinach salad that has mushrooms in it. in Enfield has several classic steaks served with mushrooms. in Windsor Locks offers stuffed mushroom caps. in Windsor has a portabella mushroom sandwich. in Tolland features a summer veggie and mushroom enchilada. And at in Suffield you can order a pizza topped with mushrooms.