News » 13.10.2021 - French portobello mushrooms: a sector in crisis
Traditionally, portobello mushrooms were grown in limestone quarries, but nowadays, the production has changed a lot.
“Modernism has made the profession move outside to isolated warehouses managed by computers. We control all the temperatures and humidity levels. The computer does everything,” explains Angel Moioli, mushroom producer in the underground quarries of Evecquemont.
Portobello mushrooms are now hardly grown in the Ile-de-France region because the precious mixture of manure and limestone in which they thrive is getting more difficult to find. Urbanization has also weakened, and even condemned some quarries, while foreign competition increases.
“For the Polish product for example, we can clearly see that the mushroom has travelled badly. If I cut it, the inside starts to blacken already, there is no smell. On this one, there is at least a nice mushroom smell, you can smell the soil. It really is a pink and firm mushroom, with a nice mushroom taste.” There are only 5 traditional productions left in Ile-de-France. So the region has created a sector to support them: the Safer Mushroom Sector. “The objective really is to produce more mushrooms, have more mushroom growers, create more mushroom growing vocations, rehabilitate quarries” so that anyone interested can come forward before the know-how of the producers from Ile-de-France disappears under the limestone.