Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kaiserlinge - Caesar´s mushrooms

Luxurious Caesar´s mushrooms

Amanita caesarea, Kaiserlinge, Caesar´s mushroos are egg-shaped when young, whitish with hidden orange, of size between a quail´s egg to bigger than a large hen´s egg…10 times more delicate than champignons, ridiculously expensive, luxurious…

Amanita caesarea, Kaiserlinge, the Caesar´s mushroos

The expert mushroom merchant at my fresh market was explaing to customers in his lovely French accent that the Kaiserlinge can be eaten raw or just briefly cooked.
The ones I bought from the market came from Italy, the ones sold at the top end foodstore Globus in Switzerland were of Bulgarian origin. Brief Internet research says that the caesar´s mushrooms can be found in the Mediterranean area in Europe. On my own mushroom foraging trips to the forests I have not seen such, but then again, Estonia is much further north.

Raw Caesar´s mushrooms

I am still looking for convincing evidence on the nutritional value of the mushrooms in general. I have seen views published that mushrooms barely have any useful nutritional content and only serve as stomach fillers or very recently that a chanterelle salad provides you with useful minerals and nutrients. Still deciding what to believe…

What I am sure of is that for those who love mushrooms it is enough to enjoy the different mushroom tastes, texture nuances and be intoxicated by the smells arising from cooking the mushrooms. The Kaiserlinge deserve to be cherished as a standalone dish without lots of additions. They are expensive to serve as a filling in a pot with other ingredients and don´t have a strong distinctive smell like say chanterelles to be used to give the mushroom note to a bigger dish. They are worth indulging on the pure taste of their own.

"Kaiserlinge" mushrooms are delicate and need very brief cooking time

Cut the mushrooms lengthwise into ca 5 mm slices. Heat some olive oil in the pan on medium and fry the musrooms 2 minutes on each side.
Serve just like that or add a few grains of salt, drizzle a few drops of lemon juice, thinly chopped parsley or pepperoncini oil to add a little spice.