White button mushrooms. Photo by Paul
Cowan | BSP.
After growing up on white button mushrooms, food enthusiaists have foraged for more flavor excitement than the old standard offers.
The mild-flavored classic whites, the cultivated, smooth, creamy-looking reliables found fresh at every market and—gasp—also sold canned, were sidelined by anyone with pretensions to a fine palate.
Chanterelles, chicken of the woods, creminis, enokis, maitakes, morels, porcinis, portabellas, shiitakes and baskets full of other exotic and lovely fungi provide more flavor, texture and eye appeal (check out all the mushroom varieties in our Mushroom Glossary).
Now, there’s a new reason to take a bite of buttons. Shiuan Chen, Ph.D., Director of Tumor Cell Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, and his team have discovered that Agaricus bisporous, white button mushrooms, are a potential breast cancer and prostate chemopreventive agent. Components in the mushrooms suppress aromatase activity and estrogen biosynthesis (here’s the full article, written for a medical audience).
*Other foods also contain anticarcinogens. For example, pomegranates can inhibit estrogen production and limit breast cancer cell growth. Blueberries may be effective in fighting an aggressive subtype of breast cancer.
So feel free to add white button mushrooms back into your repertoire. Tell critics that they’re a proven anticarcinogen. (It’s likely that other mushrooms are similarly helpful, but they weren’t part of the research study).
Serve your favorite stuffed mushroom recipe with drinks.
Top pizza with mushrooms.
Make pickled mushrooms, and serve them as a side with everything from breakfast eggs to sandwiches to dinner entrées.
Serve sautéed or grilled mushrooms as a side with any protein, as part of a mixed vegetable mélange or on a grilled veggie sandwich.
Serve them as a first course, with some grated Parmesan and cracked pepper.
Spoon sautéed mushrooms atop pasta or add mushrooms to your tomato sauce.
Enjoy mushroom risotto more often (recipe).