The Produce Quiz – What Am I?

I am a part of the ascomycete family, but many think I am a basidiomycete. I am more closely related to jelly fungi and coral fungi than you may think. Confusing as this may seem, I am still the most popular, and some say the 'aristocrat' of the bunch. Be extremely careful not to confuse me with look-a-likes because some are poisonous, and some falsely take on my image. I grow in the wild, but can be found in most specialty food stores. I am both an import from Europe and domestically grown in the United States. Like many of my 'so-thought' relatives, I only grow in unique climatic conditions, but those conditions can occur anytime between April and August. I can be found peeking from just melted snow. Climate and environment can determine whether I am black, blonde, or white. Traditionally I could only be found in the wild, but recently you humans have managed to cultivate me in factories; you have replicated my shape and size but you'll never duplicate my unique nutty, earthy flavor. My stems can be quite tough, and I taste best when I have a short stem. I am hollow inside, and have a honeycomb design on my, in most cases, club-shaped top. My culinary uses are diverse; from the common stuffer to the most exquisite of cuisine, I am certain to tantalize your tongue. If you're a die-hard nutritionist, then don't bother eating me; I have very little nutritional content. Maybe thereís a trace of vitamin C, and a little bit of iron, a smidgen of calcium and tad of fiber. I am about flavor and the Rites of Spring.

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Produce Quiz courtesy of
Richard Liebowitz
Culinary Specialty Produce

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