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Old 07-11-2005, 10:56 AM   #1
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Is a mushroom a vegetable?

I say it is. Others say it isn't, and that a vegetable must be a plant. What say you, culinary gurus?

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Old 07-11-2005, 10:57 AM   #2
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I say it's a fungus.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
I say it's a fungus.
Well of course it is. But fungus is a classification of an organism's kingdom, not a food group.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:00 AM   #4
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It's a Fungus... IMO
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:07 AM   #5
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It comes from the plant kingdom rather than the animal kingdom so go ahead and call it a vegetable, I do.

Botanically speaking, I don't know if that's accurate and, while I'm curious, the answer won't change my use of the term. Similar to a tomato - I call it a vegetable although it's botanically classified as a fruit.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
It comes from the plant kingdom rather than the animal kingdom so go ahead and call it a vegetable, I do.
Therein lies the debate. A fungus is not a plant, it does not come from the plant kingdom; it comes from the fungus kingdom. But I don't agree with the argument that "it's not a vegetable it's a fungus" because that's like saying "a bean isn't a vegetable it's a legume". They're two different classifications.

What it comes down to is, does a vegetable have to be a plant (I'd say it doesn't), and if it does, then what is a mushroom if not a vegetable?
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberSlag5k
Therein lies the debate. A fungus is not a plant, it does not come from the plant kingdom; it comes from the fungus kingdom. But I don't agree with the argument that "it's not a vegetable it's a fungus" because that's like saying "a bean isn't a vegetable it's a legume". They're two different classifications.

What it comes down to is, does a vegetable have to be a plant (I'd say it doesn't), and if it does, then what is a mushroom if not a vegetable?
While your arguement is not logical, your point is valid. What it boils down to is that, in the vernacular, it's called a vegetable. I could argue that of three major categories; animal, vegetable, mineral; it fits as a vegetable.

Besides, vegetarians eat them!
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:54 AM   #8
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Down here in Texas, when you order a BBQ plate, they offer all kinds of stuff as 'vegetables'.

Mac-n-cheese is one of 'em...


I guess it depends on who you ask... :D
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nytxn
Down here in Texas, when you order a BBQ plate, they offer all kinds of stuff as 'vegetables'.

Mac-n-cheese is one of 'em...


I guess it depends on who you ask... :D
Heh, that's great.

So I think to unravle this particular quandry, we must first define what exactly a vegetable (and in contrast a fruit) is. I've always gone by: if it has seeds, it's a fruit. If it is a seed, it's a vegetable. Mushrooms, however, have spores. And then there's roots (e.g. carrots) to consider...

The Oxford English Dictionary has this to say:
Vegetable - A plant cultivated for food; esp. an edible herb or root used for human consumption and commonly eaten, either cooked or raw, with meat or other article of food.

Fruit -
The edible product of a plant or tree, consisting of the seed and its envelope, esp. the latter when it is of a juicy pulpy nature, as in the apple, orange, plum, etc.

Thus, a vegetable must be a plant? But why is that? What defines a plant is the presence of a cell wall. Plants are also autotrophic. Fungi do not have cell walls and they are heterogrophs. Interesting...

So if a mushroom isn't a vegetable, what is it? Is fungus actually a classification for food?
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:14 PM   #10
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technically or biologically no, but food group wise, yes.

but let's take it one further...steak with sauted mushrooms, it's an accompaniment or a "spice" but stuffed mushrooms or grilled portabellos it's the main. along side a roast or in a stew its more like the carrots and potatoes...back to veg.
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