who knew? the best mushrooms in Kenya

I've always loved the robust earthy flavours of a mushroom (see my ode to Mushroom Pie here), and I think part of that comes from childhood wonder at the way that mushrooms grow in dark, dank places, whereas every other vegetable seems to need bright, well-lit spaces with a good view of the sky. 

Larissa's oyster mushrooms are a project borne of a throwaway comment made by her step-father, now an idea that has grown into a business, albeit at its early stages. She showed me to her shed, where row upon row of wooden shelving systems housed cylindrical shaped mushroom bases, in which grow the mycelium. 

The process starts with a mound of steaming ... straw (I know what you were thinking, stop it), which has been warmed for about an hour in a big drum, over a fire. Once the straw has cooled slightly, it's put into large plastic bags for a few weeks, with the mushroom seeds thrown in. A couple of weeks later, Larissa cuts the top of the bag off and a few weeks after that the mushrooms start to push out. Look at these beautiful creations that result, and check back in a day or two for my first cook off!

To order your oyster mushrooms, call Larissa on +254 716 576 074 or email on larissahoops@hotmail.com