Leading article: Currying flavour

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The Independent Online

Mushrooms, so it is said, were so prized in ancient Egypt they were reserved for the pharaohs and their families. They've had their ups and downs since, but the current British mushroom renaissance is surely one of the more impressive in fungal history. Pop into any supermarket or, better still, farmers' market, and the variety and spectacle of the specimens on display will not fail to delight. (We will leave at the side of our plate for these purposes the mind-altering varieties).

Huge beef mushrooms with the scale and quality of a finely marbled steak; the magnificently flavoursome Boletus edulis or the porcini; the Shiitake, not to mention buttons and truffles, all play their part in pandering to our modern adventurous palates. None, though, can surely rival Lactarius camphoratus, the curry-scented milkcap. It's been growing in Scotland since the dawn of mushroom time, but only now is it being commercially gathered and sold, by a company specialising in food from the Scottish wilds. The land they are grown on is free from pesticides and the like, which is very welcome.

It has tremendous potential. Imagine a mushroom curry containing real curry-flavoured mushrooms. Suddenly the mushroom becomes a condiment in its own right. So the wild, naturally curry flavoured mushroom could be pleasing your taste buds before much longer. What could be more organic? What could be more multicultural, if only by accident? What could be more delicious?

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