Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shrooms

Who knew the humble mushroom could inspire an entire city?

When touring the Brandywine River Valley in Pennsylvania, anyone with even a slight inclination towards the culinary arts would be compelled to visit Kennett Square, the “Mushroom Capital of the World.”

They say you can smell the mushrooms for miles.  Well, maybe I was downwind, but the historic town of Kennett Square certainly has a “shroomy” appeal.
The mushroom farms surrounding Kennett Square are rumored to produce over a million pounds of mushrooms a week.  In fact, half of the cultivated mushrooms sold in America are grown in and around Kennett Square. For a primer on how the mushroom mania got started, click here.

In order to preserve the integrity of the mushrooms, visits to the various farms are generally prohibited, but Kennett Square is renown for its annual mushroom festival that takes place each September.  If you miss the festival, don't worry.  As they say in Kennett Square, "shiitake happens."  

If you happen to visit at any other time of year, no walk through Kennett Square is complete without a visit to The Mushroom Cap – part gourmet food store, part boutique and part mushroom museum.   
Located at 114 W State Street in the heart of Kennett Square, it’s the ultimate celebration of the shroom.  
In fact, a waiter at a local restaurant told us it’s the only place you can actually buy fresh mushrooms in the Mushroom Capital of the World.   But, there is so much more, including Mushroom crockery…
Mushroom sculpture…
Mushroom artifacts…
Mushroom trivia…
Mushroom linens….
Mushroom lore…
And, Snack N Shrooms, a chewy, dried mushroom chip that is deliciously addicting…
After you’ve satisfied your craving for all kinds of mushroom minutia, cap off the morning and cross the street for a little nosh at Portabello’s Restaurant.  
The portabello flatbread with Gorgonzola cheese and balsamic vinegar is earthy and divine.
The luscious State Street Mushroom Soup is spiked with roasted mushrooms, toasted shallots and Madeira wine – a silky delight!  
©2013 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

11 comments:

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fun trip to a mushroom festival. We've never been to a festival, but when we lived in the Poconos, there was a mushroom farm down the road from our house. It wasn't nearly as classy as Kennett Square nor did it have a restaurant, but we had never seen mushrooms as fresh as we found there. They showed us around the place and told us how best to store their mushrooms. Every time we stuff a mushroom, we think of that farm in Mount Pocono.

Hope you are having a great weekend and happy early Thanksgiving TW.
Sam

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

You've got to love a town that knows how to stick to its theme! I do think Kennett Square mushrooms are the best.

~~louise~~ said...

Happy Sunday T.W!

I can't believe you made it to Kennett Square and without me!!!

We have mushroom farms that you can visit at Penn State but I haven't made it there either. I would much rather go to Kennett Square, I've been told more than once that Portabello’s Restaurant is not to be missed.

Just look at that Mushroom Crock, so retro, so 70s, lol...

Thanks for sharing, T.W. I must make it my business to get to Kennett Square for the Mushroom Festival!!!

Velva said...

Holy Shitake! (laugh) What a fun time. You have been out traveling a lot these days.

I really enjoyed this post.

Have a safe, Happy Thanksgiving.

Gloria Baker said...

I love this what a fun time!! xo

Catherine said...

Dear T.W., Sounds like a nice place to visit!! I guess you can always find a "room" their! ;)

Blessings for a beautiful Thanksgiving. Catherine

deana sidney said...

Are they grown in caves? I was just reading that all those amazing cave houses in France were often mushroom caves in their former lives. Love the smell of loamy earth and mushrooms. How funny that you can't visit. I guess our bugs and germs would contaminate the spore cultures. Fun town to visit. Thanks for the tour.

Sophies Foodie files said...

What a fun event: a real mushrooms extravaganza: How cool is that? I love all Soest & sizes of different mushrooms too.

Yum Yum yummmmmmm. That museum sounds very interesting too!!!! Lovely pics! �� ��������

~~louise~~ said...

Good Evening, T.W.

I just had to "pop" by to wish you and yours another glorious Thanksgiving, T.W. Enjoy every morsel of love, laughter and food:) Louise

Catherine said...

Dear T.W., Stopping by to wish you a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. I know it will be beautiful.

Blessings, Catherine

AdriBarr said...

What a wonderful post! Happy Thanksgiving!