Also known as the Black Polar Mushroom, due to its growing habitat around poplars, the pioppino mushroom is a global favorite. Its earth, nutty flavor, is especially popular in Europe and Asia.
The pioppino mushroom has a long stem and a small, brown-colored cap. Both the cap and stem are firm and develop a crisp and crunchy texture when cooked.
This mushroom goes well in rice, risotto, or stir fry dishes. In Asia, this mushroom is used frequently in soups, stews, and hot pot. It is possible to cultivate this mushroom at home, but it is a more advanced growing kit option. This is the case because the pioppino mushroom requires lower temperatures and a high humidity while still receiving enough oxygen to grow well. Read about how to grow mushrooms here. You can find a pioppino mushroom growing kit here!
Pioppino mushrooms contain compounds that inhibit the COX-2 enzyme, which is an indication of anti-inflammatory activity (Elgorashi et al., 2008). A study examining the best method to extract the beneficial polysaccharides from Pioppinos also demonstrated that the mushrooms should be cooked at ninety degrees Celsius for one hour (Hui-Ling Mao et al., 2007).
The study ‘Nutritional value, chemical composition, antioxidant activity and enrichment of cream cheese with chestnut mushroom Agrocybe aegerita (Brig.) Sing’ looked at the constituents of pioppino mushrooms for a better understanding of how this mushroom can fit into our diets. The five bullet points below come from this study.
- Agrocybe aegerita proved to be a rich source of linoleic acid.
- Analysis of the extract showed high content of carbohydrates and proteins.
- Malic acid was the most abundant organic acid and γ-tocopherol was the most abundant isoform.
- Methanolic extract exhibited high antioxidant activity.
- Dried fruiting body proved to be a great enhancer of flavor when incorporated in cream cheese, based on the results of sensory evaluation