Summer is a great time for produce of all sorts. While the exact growing season will vary according to climate, there are fruits and vegetables available at farmers markets, grocers, and possibly in your own backyard throughout the season. Chef Johnna has looked into the history of a variety of produce, showing you where each plant originated and how it was used over the centuries.
Mushrooms are a part of our human heritage, our collective consciousness. Ancient cultures used psilocybin, the “magic” mushroom, to open the “gates of heaven” and communicate with the gods. Fungi grows in every part of the world; in crevices, on trees, in cow poo. They’ve been used for over 3,000 years in Chinese medicine as a way to prevent cancer and heart disease and promote longevity.
Recipes for cooking mushrooms can be found as early as the 4th century A.D. in the collection “Apicus, Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome.” Cooking techniques can be found referenced in ancient Egyptian tablets and mushroom motifs are prolific in the pre-Colombian art of the Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica