Mushrooms (Champignons)

Random facts about mushrooms in France, a familiar French mushroom expression explained, and links to healthy French mushroom recipes.

crate of Parisian chestnut mushrooms at the French market

Random Facts about Mushrooms in France

  • Parisian mushrooms (Champignons de Paris) are most popular in France and one of the most consumed mushrooms in the world. Either white or chestnut brown (referred to as rose pink in French);
  • France is the 3rd biggest producer of mushrooms in Europe, behind Poland and Holland;
  • According to Aprifel, mushrooms are high in fibre and vitamin B5;
  • For all the types of mushrooms found in France, see this guide to identify different mushrooms. Love to forage for mushrooms? French pharmacists can check them for you if you’re not sure;
  • Louis XIV’s botanist, La Quintinye cultivates mushrooms at the Potager du Roi in Versailles but it’s not until the 19th Century that the Champignons de Paris are born. As of 1810, they’re cultivated in abandoned quarries or caves around Paris and in the Loire Valley due to their constant temperatures and ideal mushroom growing environment;
  • According to Chef Auguste Escoffier the most popular way to prepare mushrooms are Champignons Sautés (2073 – Guide to Modern Cookery): “Wash and dry them, slice them then coat with salt and pepper and fry them in butter in a frying pan over a fierce fire. Sprinkle them with chopped parsley at the last moment.”
  • Storage: mushrooms are best eaten as soon as possible but can keep up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

Fun French Expressions with Mushrooms

“Appuyer sur le champignon”
familiar French expression to accelerate a vehicule, to go faster, as a champignon is often referred to as the accelerator (literally translated as press on the mushroom).

boxes of wild mushrooms at the market


More Recipes with Mushrooms

Vegetarian Savoury Recipes

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