Do you know about the pioppino mushroom? Learn about this unique mushroom here and learn how to grow it at home
The pioppino mushroom (Agrocybe aegerita) is unknown to many, even those who are mushroom enthusiasts. Pioppino mushroom is also known as the black poplar mushroom or the velvet pioppino. It is often called the black poplar mushroom because of its tendency to grow on and around poplars. Today we are sharing some information on the pioppino mushroom, including health benefits and reasons why people cultivate this mushroom.
Growing and eating the pioppino mushroom
The pioppino mushroom has a long stem and a small, brown-colored cap. Once cooked, this mushroom will gain a slight crispiness to its texture. The flavor is mild but earthy and nutty. 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. We offer a pioppino mushroom growing kit, which you can buy from our online store. The pioppino mushroom kit is 10 pounds of colonized substrate. It comes ready-to-fruit and it is certified organic. You should be able to get multiple pounds of fresh pioppino mushrooms from this kit. When you use this kit, make sure to keep the kit in temperatures between 50-60 degrees F to fruit the mushrooms. Ideal humidity will be over 90%. Also, make sure you cut an array of holes into the bag so the kit receives a proper amount of oxygen.
Looking at some research on the pioppino mushroomThere has been a study conducted on the pioppino mushroom, which is fortunate for us mushroom lovers. The study, entitled ‘Pioppino mushroom in southern Italy: an undervalued source of nutrients and bioactive compounds’ looks at some of the benefits from the pioppino mushroom. Here is a look at the results of the study:
“Macronutrient components (proteins, carbohydrates and lipids), free and protein amino acids and fatty acid content of poplar mushroom were achieved. Total phenol content of a defatted Pioppino alcoholic extract (PM) was determined, whereas DPPH and ABTS methods were applied to determine the radical scavenging capabilities of the extract. Ferricyanide and ORAC-fluorescein methods were also performed. Finally, LC-HRMS was used to identify and quantify the main metabolites in the extract. PM was mainly constituted of disaccharides, hexitol derivatives and malic acid. Coumaric acid isomers and C6 C1 compounds were also detected.”This study was successful in finding benefits components of the pioppino mushroom. It then considered these constituents in relation to the agaricus bisporus, which is the common button mushroom. Here is a look at the conclusion of the study, which pits the pioppino mushroom against the agaricus:
“All data revealed that wild Pioppino is an excellent functional food, by far exceeding that of the Champignon. Therefore, these data are useful to promote the consumption of this mushroom encouraging thus its biological cultivation, due to wild availability is strongly compromised by the extensive use of fungicides.”
It stands to note that if you have the option of consuming the pioppino mushroom or the button mushroom, you may want to opt for the pioppino for more healthful eating.
Five additional takeaways for understanding the pioppino mushroomThe 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.
Grow pioppino mushrooms at home, in addition to other gourmet mushroomsWe have an array of mushroom growing kits available to our audience. The pioppino is not the only exotic mushroom you can be growing at home. You could also grow the lion’s mane or the king trumpet mushroom, both of which are delicious and a bit harder to find than others. We currently have growing kits of the following mushroom species:
- Blue oyster mushroom
- Golden oyster mushroom
- Pink oyster mushroom
- Black oyster mushroom
- Phoenix oyster mushroom
- Reishi mushroom
- Lion’s mane mushroom
- Shiitake mushroom
Try growing all of these interesting mushrooms at home to have the most local, delicious food available to you! These kits work great indoors where you can dial in the specific parameters. So even during the colder months you can be growing your own gourmet edibles! Have you tried the pioppino mushrooms? What are your thoughts on it?
- By Chris Sturk