Recently I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the mushroom capital of the world, located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is within an hour’s drive from our house. With our luck, it was holding its 26th annual mushroom festival this past weekend. Armed with my camera, I was ready to document on this joyous event.
The festival stretched more than half-mile and featured culinary events, growing exhibits, farm tours, children’s entertainment, and nearly 200 vendors with attendance calculated at 100,000 guests.
Mushroom cultivation in the United States first began in Kennett Square (of course!) in 1896 when two local florists wanted to make more efficient use of their greenhouses by utilizing the area underneath the shelves used to grow ornamental plants. This set-up was less than ideal, however, with improvements in technology over many years, and many generations later, the cultivation of mushrooms in the United States is greater than ever.
The second thing you notice (after the mushrooms, of course) is a lot of people with chilled stainless steel mugs, and happy faces. That was old fashioned soda, buy-a-mug-drink-soda-whole-day-free deal.
We saw a lot of original folk merchandise, like those cups full of mini pumpkins and mushroom glasses.
The culmination of the day was the Mushroom soup contest.
Here is a spy photocopy of the secret recipe of a soup.
Here are some of the contestants, which all smelled sooo goood…
A dinner with the family at the Newton’s on State Street glazed this weekend’s trip. It’s a rare treat in our days to find good quality homemade food in a restaurant. Beer Battered Fried Mushrooms with a Horseradish Cream Sauce was just right break for some quiet family time from the crowded street.