Chewy & Crispy MushMaru Mushroom
A Cultivar of Ferula Oyster Mushrooms with a Wholesome Effect of Preventing Cancers
Mushrooms are receiving attention as a healthy food and are a popular ingredient in every corner of the world. Among the numerous mushroom varieties, ferula oyster mushroom (pleurotus eryngii var. ferulae) is famous for its effectiveness in preventing cancers as well as obstetrical and gynecological diseases. It also relieves inflammations, maintains blood sugar, and improves kidney functions. Further, it contains a lot of dietary fibers, amino acids, and vitamins, so it is highly nutritious.
Despite the ample beneficial health qualities, ferula oyster mushroom is relatively unfamiliar to consumers compared to other mushroom varieties. That is because the mushroom falls in the category of rare mushrooms. Only 1,000 tons of it are produced worldwide every year.
Ddle A Che Succeeds in Mass-producing Ferula Oyster Mushroom
Ferula oyster mushroom is in the family of eryngii. While not exactly the same variety, it is very similar to the king oyster mushroom (pleurotus eryngii). The two are like cousins. Since the 1950s, a great deal of effort has been made to improve the breeding of ferula oyster mushrooms in France, Germany, and other countries around the world. Korea, too, has been making efforts to artificially cultivate the mushroom since 2003. At first, the mushrooms didn’t meet the standards in terms of appearance. But recently one private Korean company succeeded in mass-producing the mushroom.
It is now distributing the ferula oyster mushroom in Korea and exporting it overseas. The company that improved the breed and commercialized the ferula oyster mushroom for the first time in Korea is Ddle A Che Co., Ltd. It is located in Cheonan of South Chungcheong Province.
Mr. Kwon Kyung-yeol, CEO of Ddle A Che, introduces his company, “We started the research in 2007 while producing king oyster mushroom and succeeded in breeding and patent registration in 2009. That’s when we started mass-producing the ferula oyster mushroom.”
Containing Anti-aging Substances…Introduced in a Science Journal
Ddle A Che improved the ferula oyster mushroom so it has the taste, scent, and texture of the ferula oyster mushroom yet takes the shape of the king oyster mushroom, which consumers like. The company named the improved breed “MushMaru mushroom.” The MushMaru mushroom features a chewy and crispy texture. Its scent is not too strong. According to Mr. Kwon, even children who usually do not like eating mushrooms can enjoy the MushMaru mushroom due to the sweet taste that appears as they chew the mushroom. Another merit is that, unlike the king oyster mushroom, the MushMaru mushroom does not shrink in size during cooking.
Mr. Kwon emphasizes, “The MushMaru mushroom was introduced in the Asian edition of Nature―a scientific journal with international fame―when it was discovered that the ferula oyster mushroom, in addition to the previously known effects, contains a substance good for anti-aging effects.” He added that the MushMaru mushroom has also been proven to suppress hyperlipidemia and obesity.
One-stop System―From Production of Seeds and Culture Media to Cultivation and Distribution
Ddle A Che, in association with five member farms, produces approximately eight tons of MushMaru mushrooms per month. The company manages all the stages of the production. First, Ddle A Che produces seeds and provides them to the member farms, which make culture media. The cultivating farms receive the culture media and grow the mushrooms. Mr. Kwon said, “We implement a one-stop system where we divide with member farms the responsibilities for all the production processes including production of seeds and culture media, cultivation, and distribution.”
New Cultivar Developed Specifically for Export
In 2010, Ddle A Che started exporting MushMaru mushrooms to the US, Hong Kong, and other markets. Although recognition of the MushMaru mushroom abroad is still low due to the small supply volume, the interest in it is quickly rising. For example, the entire volume that came to the US during the first export shipment for a promotional event sold out in just three days.
To increase the export amount, Ddle A Che has completed preparations for the production of a new cultivar of the ferula oyster mushroom, which has a better storability than the MushMaru mushroom. Mr. Kwon said, “The newly developed cultivar is not brown like the MushMaru mushroom, but is cream-colored. With the improved storability, it is produced exclusively for export.” He revealed that his plan is to enthusiastically pioneer the American and European markets with the new cultivar.
How to Enjoy the MushMaru Mushroom
Mr. Kwon recommends grilling as the method to cook MushMaru mushrooms in the most delicious way. It is the simplest but most surefire way to enjoy the authentic taste of the mushroom.
Cut the mushroom in half, put it on a frying pan with some olive or cooking oil, and spread some salt on it. It is important to turn the mushroom only once, when its color becomes yellowish. That way, the mushroom becomes more delectable and does not acquire other smells. Mr. Kwon added that the grilled mushroom tastes best if it is eaten when it is still hot.
Inquiries Ddle A Che Co., Ltd.