It’s typically not a good idea to eat mushrooms, gourmet or otherwise, raw.
Fungal cell walls are high in polysaccharides like the Glycogenic Glucan. -Meaning, you’ll have indigestion trying to digets this stuff raw.
Polysacchrides are essentially complex carbohydrate chains/connections that form things like cell walls, fibers, startches, or glycogen. Most polysaccharides aren’t digestable by our human biology. So we have to help the ease the process by either heat cooking or acid cooking the polysaccharides.
Ranked from Best Breakdown of Polysacchrides to Least;
- Cooking with Heat (like in a pan, traditional cooking) will break down the majority of polysacchrides making it better for consumption. This is the most easy and effective way for the common layman or chef.
- Cooking with Acids like lemon juice will help break down some of the polysacchrides, this is less effective than cooking for gourmet mushrooms. Maybe great for a bowl of poke or ceviche.
- Dehydrating Mushrooms will also break down some Polysacchrides, typically less than Acid cooking. The breakdown factor is based on the heat of dehydration, and not the removal of water content. Higher the heat, the better the break down.
It’s to note that you can perform combinations of the above to break down Polysacchrides. Such as dehydrating your mushrooms and then acid or heat cooking them. Just note that the flavor profile will change.
It’s also to note that Dehydrating will shrink your mushrooms and concentrate the polysacchrides into smaller dense areas. Depending if there is not much heat applied, dehydration could arguably worsen the digestion of mushrooms by localizing and increasing polysacchrides. So, proceed with caution in assuming dehydrating to be any or at all effective.
For Mushroom Teas,
Unless you have specialized tea in fresh boiling water in temperatures above 212 degrees Farenheit, the Hot water isn’t hot enough to significantly breakdown the polysacchrides. You’ll still be able to enjoy the water and the nutrients of the tea, just know that you’ll get indigestion if you don’t further prepare your steeped mushrooms.
All of the above tips is for gourmet mushrooms, there are particular magic mushrooms out there that fair differently. So the advice above isn’t specific to one type of mushroom. It’s a generalized tip for gourmet mushrooms.
Toxic and poisonous mushrooms are still not okay to eat, very not safe, and cooking them in teas or in a fryingpan isn’t a good idea. Their toxicity isn’t due to polysaccharides, so don’t think this information contained here should fan any flames of confidence in toxicologic pursuits.
Some Side Notes,
Lemon tekking or acid cooking may change some chemical composition in your mushrooms and may alter the benefits of the mushrooms that you are consuming. Be advised.
Removing simply the Polysacchrides isn’t the same as extracting Fungal Protoplasts, you’ll need to keep the plasma intact and ensure that the cellwalls are enymatically removed. This tip is more for those that work with Fungal Protoplasts. It’s kind of funny, because you can perform this through ‘mechanical agitation’, and there’s a lowtech way that’s a rather brutish process.
For More information on Polysaccharides and Mushrooms, check out this article written by Skye Chilton at Real Mushrooms. That article goes deeper into Beta-Glucans and testing to ensure quality mushroom products, as well as how Vendors will upsell you on Polysaccharide count as a marketing gimmick.
Hopefully This Article Expands Your Neural Network
Hopefully you learned something new or connected some new dots in your own personal Neural Network (your brain silly) here on the Mycelial-Network on the Inter-Net-(work).
So you should always prep your mushrooms prior to consumption, It’s better for your digestive tract and health. Unless you want some issues in digestion for whatever personal reasons.
Everyone’s body works a bit differently when consuming things, and how the flavors taste to how much indigestion you receive will be subjective from person to person. A Great chef will cater to the flavor profile, health, and diet consideration needs of their clients.
If you have anything to add, feel free to comment down below or send an email.