Since January, the San Jose, Calif.-based council has held Mushroom Mania events at the University of Southern California, Yale University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of North Texas and other schools, according to a council news release.
Council chefs work with chefs at the schools on incorporating mushrooms and “mushroom blendability” — combining mushrooms with meat to make more healthful versions of menu favorites — into campus cuisine. Other Mushroom Mania events include cooking contests, tasting menus, cooking demonstrations, interactive growing rooms and T-shirt giveaways.
In February at Yale, for instance, mushrooms were the secret ingredient in the 6th Annual Yale University Final Cut Culinary Competition, in which teams of students cook in a format modeled on the “Iron Chef” TV show.
“Mushrooms and mushroom blendability are a natural fit for college students,” the council’s president, Bart Minor, said in the release. “Students are extremely food literate. They demand sustainable, healthy, flavorful and often plant-based foods in their dining halls. Mushroom blendability allows students to eat healthier versions of food they crave like hamburgers, meatballs and tacos.”