As the leader in mushroom production for the United States (62 percent), Pennsylvania mushrooms are always well represented at the PA Farm Show. Like many other Pa. agriculture commodities, they are showcased in all facets of the Farm Show including an educational booth, judging display, the PA Preferred Culinary Connection, and at the Farm Show food court. The first Saturday of the Farm Show is “Mushroom Day” and features mushrooms at the PA Preferred Culinary Connection stage.
Some of the mushroom dishes prepared this year included Grilled Pennsylvania Organic Veal Rib Chop and Mushroom a la Grecque, Pan Seared Ribeye Steaks with Mushroom Sauce, PA Mushroom Bread Pudding stuffed with Chevre and Sage, and Wild Mushroom Pastisio. Mushrooms were also featured in recipes at every food station at the Farm Show Reception.
Supported by the American Mushroom Institute and the Mushroom Farmers of PA, the mushroom food stand in the food court is always a crowd favorite. Products for sale included fried breaded mushrooms, mushroom soup, grilled portabellas, mushroom salad, and packaged fresh mushrooms. This year, an estimated 8,000 pounds of mushrooms were served in the food court.
Located next to the Butter Sculpture, the Mushroom Display featured over 85 entries in 24 classes including 3lb. baskets, packaged varieties, and a mushroom centerpiece arrangement. Entries were judged by mycologist Tina Ellor, technical director at Phillips Mushroom Farm, Kennett Square. The best white (Agaricus) mushrooms were from Giorgio Fresh of Temple, Berks County (button and jumbo size). Needham’s Mushroom Farm of West Grove, Chester County, placed first in medium and large sizes of white mushrooms. Giorgio Fresh also won three out of five classes in overwrap packaged products. ToJo Mushrooms of Avondale, Chester County, took top placing in almost all classes of Portabella mushrooms including Baby Portabella (5lbs.), sliced, and caps. Oley Valley Mushroom of Oley, Berks County, finished first in 3lb. shiitake and oyster mushrooms as well as other exotics.
For a complete list of mushroom class results and recipes, visit the PA Farm Show website at www.farmshow.state.pa.us.