Damian Pike, Mushroom ManPosted by: Scott Ko
Damian Pike, the famous mushroom man at Prahran market started in the industry 26 years ago. The decision to specialise in mushrooms and assistance from mushroom brokers, media and importers catapulted Damian to become the award winning retailer that it is today. Damian specialises in a variety of mushrooms – from your standard European varieties, Asian varieties to unusual seasonal items such as finger limes, white asparagus, china white peaches and luxurious winter truffles. Damian recommended that I sampled some finger lime , an unfamiliar Australian bush fruit full of effervescent tangy flavour. I could imagine it being used in a fresh ceviche or salsa and is just one example of the diverse Australian produce that is lesser known.
Another unique item exclusively sourced by Damian are Chestnut mushrooms. They appear to be smaller versions of brown mushrooms with a stronger nutty flavour. When asked what is the best way to enjoy mushrooms, he replied ‘buttered with a pinch of thyme’ and generously shared a delicious horse mushroom soup recipe amongst others. It is important to eat organically grown mushrooms as they absorb what they are grown in. They are known to concentrate pollutants and heavy metals, as such a natural growing environment is essential to avoid contamination. Damian sources varieties that are grown in the wild in their natural environments known for quality and great taste.
163 Commercial Rd
For a range of delicious recipes incorporating mushrooms and meal planning tools, check out Mealdish.