As a child, I wasn’t a fan of mushrooms. They were repulsive to me.
However, in my early twenties, I decided to give them a chance. I ate an omelet mixed with mushrooms and all my old prejudices died away; I became a fan!
There is something alluring about the mushroom (and I’m not talking about those “magical” mushrooms here). Mushrooms are strange, mysterious, delicious – and provide a number of health benefits.
For people who have an affinity for mushroom cuisine, one cool place to check out is River Valley Ranch and Kitchens – a mushroom farm and store located in Burlington, Wisconsin. My husband and I recently stopped by and the trip was quite enjoyable.
Visit the website to learn more about the history of the mushroom farm.
The main mushroom farm is located across the street from the shop, and is generally not open to the public, as damaging spores can hitch a ride on clothing, which could potentially harm the blooming mushroom crops.
However, visitors will have plenty enough to see at the mushroom shop, which offers a variety of artisan-quality sauces, dips, salsas and more — created by Eric Rose, owner of the farm. A wide variety of fresh mushrooms are available for purchase in the shop, including Portabella, Crimini, White Button, Shittake, and Oyster. The farm produces more than 375,000 pounds of mushrooms per year!
Want to try your hand at mushroom farming? During the fall and winter months, the shop also sells do-it-yourself mushroom kits at a reasonable price.
River Valley Ranch also offers a wide array of vegetable products produced both on-site and through outside vendors. Shallots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, squash, pumpkins, asparagus, and cauliflower are all grown at the farm.
A number of interesting products are available at the shop. River Valley Kitchens also recently opened River Valley Farmer’s Table – a deli located at 1820 W. Wilson Ave. in Chicago. It’s been met with positive reviews, which can be checked out on Yelp.
My husband and I purchased several varieties of mushrooms from the store, including a few wonderful Portabellas. I made some fantastic baked pesto-stuffed mushrooms, following my own version of this recipe.
Be sure to stop by the main store if you’re ever in the Burlington area. It makes for a fun day trip.
River Valley Kitchen Farm Store
39900 W. 60th Street (map)
Burlington, WI 53105