If you agree…you should listen up. I was introduced by a friend to this lovely book by Nicholas P. Money, titled Mushroom, some years ago. If you have ever fondled a mushroom and wondered ANYTHING at all about these magical (and sometimes deadly) wonders, you should definitely grab this book. Or any other book by Dr. Money. His passion is contagious.
In the video above, Dr. Money first claims that “he’s an evangalist for all things fungal,” (You had me at hello, Dr. Money) and he then explains that mushrooms begin life as “preformed, embryonic, fruit-bodies”.
Then, they undergo a 1000x expansion through the absorption of water alone.
This rapid expansion allows the fruit-body to then develop its gills and pelt the air with billions of spores. The spores are shot from the gills using a hydrolic mechanism with tiny droplets of water. This feature makes our beautiful friends one of a kind in the living world (and probably in the un-living world as well…though don’t quote me).
Even more interesting (for those with their minds in the gutter) is the history of mushroom sex. Sounds naughty, right? Worthington G. Smith thought that mushrooms contained semen…yes…swimming sperm cells. He was wrong…but the correct method of mushroom sex is even more unbelievable.
Let’s just say that it’s crazy complicated, but basically, in order to reproduce, mushrooms need to find a different mating type, like humans find the opposite sex. But mushrooms can literally be 10,000+ different sexes. This also means that either mushroom can be the mom (by “getting pregnant” aka making a mushroom) or be the dad (by delivering the gamete).
Further, mushrooms can have BFFs. Best Friends Forever. If you didn’t know what that stood for, I guess we didn’t go to 7th grade together.
I mean that mushrooms who are not sexually compatible can still stay close, and eventually fuse mycelia to share resources (think…moving in together to save some money). Though they will never have sex. This makes them vegetatively compatible.
Did I mention they are also nommy in da tummy?
Rosmary Garlic Mushrooms with Gluten Free Pasta
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp vegan margarine (earth balance works well)
5 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1 package of gluten free pasta
In the meantime melt vegan margaine in a skillet over medium heat, then add the minced garlic. Roast for about 2 minutes, until fragrant, then add the shrooms. When they have almost finished releasing water, add the chopped rosemary to the skillet, and continue to cook for at least 5 minutes. Cook until all the water has been released, and they begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Easy as that! Add some fresh squeezed lemon or tomatoes to taste.
Finally…sorry for the Cosmo-style blog title. I couldn’t resist.