Mushrooms: the food of the immortals

January 10, 2012

In ancient Egypt, mushrooms were the food for the immortals. It was in the diet of the kings and they ate mushrooms for their health, diet for health. There was a belief that whoever ate mushrooms became immortal and for this reason only the living ‘’Gods’’, the Pharaohs, had the right to eat mushrooms.

Given the fact that 95% of the mushrooms are poisonous and that Egypt’s climate is a dry climate, mushrooms in Egypt were very rare. Since the mushrooms were rare the knowledge about them was minimal and it may be that this is the reason the belief about the ‘’immortals’’ was favoured and spread around.  The Pharaohs had tasters, so the tasters tasted the mushrooms and if they survived the Kings would eat them.

There are mushrooms in many parts of the world and mushrooms are part of many diets like the Mediterranean diet. There are wild and cultivated mushrooms. Wild mushrooms should be collected carefully and by knowledgeable people since as we stated earlier, 95% of the mushrooms are poisonous.

Mushrooms, wild or cultivated, should be washed with care. They are like sponges, they absorb water and they let it out when they are cooked. It is for this reason that instead of putting them in a bowl with water to rinse them, we wipe them with a wet towel, rinse them quickly under running water and then dry them. We cook them in strong fire and hot olive oil otherwise they let their water out and they shrink losing their tenderness.

Mushrooms are good for your diet and they provide the right nutrients for your health.

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