Fresh Idea: Nice Stems

Where to find the fungi you could fall in love with.

Photograph by Francine Zaslow

Photograph by Francine Zaslow

From bales of organic wheat straw burst forth these fine-fluted mushrooms, grown inside a greenhouse at Newburyport’s Shady Oaks Organics. The year-old cultivator, formed out of three upstarts, expanded this spring from a basement operation to a 23,000-square-foot space. There, the founders are spawning hard-to-find varieties of shiitake and oyster mushrooms — golden, Italian, and Po Hu, which don’t grow in the New England wild — giving Boston chefs an organic, year-round mycological treat. At Menton, you’ll find Shady Oaks oyster mushrooms pickled alongside scallops and sea-urchin ravioli. The company also sells them by the bag, so you can experiment on your own with their nuanced nuttiness.

$4–$5 for 100 grams; available this summer at Boston City Hall Farmers’ Market, 100 Cambridge St., Boston; shadyoaksorganics.com.

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