Mushrooms integrated into cuisine
USC Hospitality has partnered with the Mushroom Council to host the first day of the Mushroomapalooza Tour at Café 84 on Monday.
The Mushroom Council promotes and encourages consumption of fresh mushrooms. It works with many universities across the country to put on different events to appeal to students.
“We want to raise consumer awareness regarding the benefits of mushrooms through Mushroomapalooza, and introduce students to how flavorful and diverse mushrooms can be,” said Mushroom Council administrator Brittany Stager. “It’s important to include mushrooms in your daily diet because it’s a good source of very important minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.”
Café 84 was busy during the hours of Mushroomapalooza. It offered seven different mushroom dishes, from chili portabellini mushroom street tacos with shredded cabbage and soy sauza crema to mushroom risotto with crispy onions.
“Students are very excited; you can tell from the lines — they haven’t stopped since four o’clock,” Kitchen Manager Rajeendra Wanniarachchige said. “When kids see this kind of event they text their friends to let them know.”
Many students found out about the event through word of mouth.
“My friend who came here earlier texted the whole swim team in our group chat saying whoever likes mushrooms, check out Café 84 tonight,” said Dimitri Colupaev, a senior majoring in economics. “I am enjoying the menu options; the cream of mushroom soup is great.”
USC has seven other restaurants that are participating in the Mushroomapalooza Tour this week such as Seeds, Moreton Fig and Lemonade.
“We definitely want to have more events like the Mushroomapalooza,” Wanniarachchige said. “We are still in the process of investigating, but we hope to bring more farm-to-table foods that promote locally grown organic produce.”