Frequently Asked Questions

What are some differences between your mushrooms?

Oyster Mushrooms range in texture from soft and delicate to meaty and dense! They are known to impart anti-inflammatory effects and produce a range of textures and flavors. They typically last 5 to 7 days refrigerated unless noted otherwise.

Pathfinder Oyster – These off-white mushrooms have large, delicate caps with a robust stem with gills that gives it almost a “tongue-like” appearance and have a savory flavor. They are often large enough that cutting strips may be preferred, depending on your preparation.

Pearl (White) Oyster – These mushrooms fruit a little smaller than Pathfinder and has a narrower stem with smaller caps that are perfect for cooking whole.

Pink Oyster – Pink oyster mushrooms are a summer variety that prefers to fruit in warmer weather. They have a beautiful color when fresh but be advised that the vibrant pink color turns brown when cooked. They have a strong umami, seafood-like flavor profile and lasts only 2-3 days refrigerated.

Golden Treasure – This variety has a pungent, savory flavor and seafood-like aroma but is very short-lived and only lasts a brief 12-24 hours.

Blue Oyster – This variety has a lighter savory flavor and its fruiting bodies range in size from small to medium. They are generally the most versatile oyster mushroom but are a cold-weather species that prefers winter conditions.

King Blue Oyster – These are a larger variety of blue oyster mushrooms that retain the same flavor and texture profile but have a lighter blue-gray color with larger caps and stems.

Black Oyster – Black oyster mushrooms are denser with thicker stems and are great for cutting into strips. They are a great substitute for meat dishes as the flesh is heartier than other oyster mushrooms.

King Black Oyster – These mushrooms have thick stems which are perfect for making vegan scallops or cut lengthwise to produce meaty strips. You can cube or the stems to simulate pork or larger pieces to mimic boneless ribs.

Phoenix Oyster – Also known as “Italian oyster mushrooms,” these are a more delicate variety of black oyster mushrooms that have stems similar to blue oyster mushrooms and their caps turn up around the edges to produce ruffles.

Lion’s Mane and its relatives Bear’s Head and Coral Tooth are a touted for their culinary and medicinal uses. Lion’s Mane and their cousins have been used in Eastern Medicine for over a thousand years to help promote neuro-motor function, boost memory recall, and assist with gut disorders.

Lion’s Mane and Bear’s Head – These mushrooms can be used to simulate different textures. The spines can be pulled apart to simulate lobster and crabmeat; cut the mushrooms cross-sectionally to simulate steaks or chicken tenders; squeeze the juice out of the mushroom and then cook in another sauce to mimic pulled-pork.

Coral Tooth – This variety of mushrooms have all the same nutrients and medicinal properties as Lion’s Mane and Bear’s Head, but instead of propagating spines, the mushroom produces forked tips that resemble coral. The dense forks and light composition make this mushroom a great alternative to ground beef crumbles.

How fresh are these mushrooms?

We harvest our mushrooms one to two days prior to market, and so they are considered live mushrooms! Mature mushrooms may exhibit spores or mycelial regrowth, identified by a light brown dusting or a light white “fuzz” atop the caps. This is normal and signifies the mushroom’s desire to reproduce! Although we cultivate our mushroom spawn in a sterile lab environment and clean indoor fruiting chambers, we highly encourage you to cook all mushrooms thoroughly to minimize the risks of contracting any food-borne illness.

How do I keep my mushrooms fresh after purchase?

After you buy some of our tasty mushrooms, they are best kept in your refrigerator with your packaging opened slightly to let your friendly fungi breathe. All of our varieties are grown indoors with high humidity, so they are bound to evaporate off some water. Letting them breathe in your fridge will minimize condensation of water vapor on your produce and keep your mushrooms fresher longer. 

Can I eat these mushrooms raw, or should I cook them?

Few people have iron stomachs that can digest anything you feed them, however, most of us need a little help with proper preparation and digestion. Since we harvest our mushrooms prior to market, they are considered live mushrooms. Therefore, we encourage you to cook your mushrooms thoroughly to help break down the cell walls in order to get the most nutrition out of your meal and to take it easy on your gut. Not to mention the flavors turn out much better when you cook them with a little seasoning!

Where can I find some visual inspiration and mushroom recipes to help me get started?

You can find us frequently participating on social media through our official Instagram account and Facebook page located at instagram.com/desertpearlmushrooms and at facebook.com/desertpearlmushrooms with regular posts, as well as occasional updates through our website. We partner with a few different local culinary experts and fellow mushroom enthusiasts – including some of our own team – to come up with some delicious mushroom makes. Come visit us on social media to view some tasty mushroom treats!

What methods of payment do you accept?

We happily accept all major credit and debit cards, SNAP/EBT and Double Up Food Bucks, cash, as well as seasonal food vouchers and coupons (AZ Farmers Market Nutrition Program; AZ Women, Infants, & Children; and AZ Commodity Senior Food Program) when available. 

Where else can I find your mushrooms and mushroom products?

We currently participate at most Heirloom Farmers’ Markets from 9am to 1pm (Fridays at Udall Park; Saturdays at Oro Valley Steam Pump Ranch; and Sundays at Rillito Downs Race Track) and our produce can be ordered through the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market hosted by the Community Food Bank for Thursday pickups at Mercado San Augustin, Tucson Community Supported Agriculture (Tucson CSA) for pickups Wednesday and Thursday, Gallery of Food online orders for pickup or in-store at their newly opened Gallery of Food Bodega on Fort Lowell, Pivot Produce, and 5 Points Market. Various restaurants around Tucson feature our mushrooms through different preparations – please check out our friends’ offerings at Falora Pizza, Vivace Restaurant, Lindy’s on 4th, Ren Coffee House, and The Grill at Hacienda del Sol. Some of our grow supplies can be found either through our website or at EcoGro on 6th Street, including our Oyster Mushroom and Lion’s Mane Home Grow Kits and spent substrate for home gardening soil amendment.

Can I grow my own mushrooms?

Yes, you can! We sell home grow kits periodically at farmers markets, on our website, and at EcoGrow on 6th Street. However, these kits are produced in small quantities and sell out fast. Submit a request and we can make some to order for you for pickup. We also sell mushroom spawn and sterile substrate bags by custom order. Inquire for more info!