Wednesday, February 12, 2020

South Spring Mushroom Chicharon Product Review and the Health Benefits of Eating Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms
Long before the hype on Oyster Mushroom began, I have tried experimenting on white oyster mushrooms by making what my cousins then called as "fake fried chicken." I would put some breading and dredge them over eggs before having them deep-fried and thus making them taste like it's real fried chicken when in reality it's a lot cheaper and perhaps healthier versions. Two years ago, I also had a privilege to visit some of Bulacan's mushroom farms. So I'm no longer surprised when people started exploring with oyster mushrooms. While there are other kinds of mushrooms like abalone, shiitake, button mushrooms and many others, Oyster mushrooms still managed to become a favorite among fungi because of their distinct flavor and extensive health benefits. 

Oyster mushroom is called as such because of its obvious similarity in its appearance to oysters. It has become an instant favorite by many because of its versatility and with a mild flavor and licorice-like aroma, it's become an integral part of many Asian dishes. Best of all, health expert says that oyster mushroom has been proven to be packed with anti-oxidants, lower cholesterol levels, alleviate inflammation, boosts brain health and may also block certain cancer growth.

South Spring Oyster Mushroom Chip in Sour Cream flavor

I recently stumbled upon exciting products made from Oyster Mushrooms. These are proudly Filipino made and produced fresh from South Spring Oyster Mushroom Farm in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Their best sellers remain to be their Oyster Mushroom Chicharon Chips. Freshly harvested oyster mushrooms straight from the farm, they're lovingly and carefully battered, and deep-fried before being sprinkled with seasoning. They've got various flavors to choose from: Original, Barbecue, Cheese, Garlic, Sour Cream, Chili Barbecue, Chili Cheese and Chili Garlic. Each pack is sold at 100 grams for Php100 only. 

South Spring Oyster Mushroom Chips in BBQ flavor
The fun thing about munching on these oyster mushroom chips is that these crunchy snacks are made from vegan goodness without the guilt. Unlike our usual favorite, chicharon (pork rind), South Spring's Oyster Mushroom chips are just as good as regular crisps sans the extra bad cholesterol. It's even good for the gut, and it's cooked at low temperatures to avoid damaging its natural nutrients. 

I tried eating South Spring's Chicharon Oyster Mushroom chips along with a soup and stir-fry. I even used it as toppings on my green salads and voila, I had a really healthy and delicious meal! Of course, you can munch on these yummy treats as they are. 

South Spring Mushroom Chicharon in Original
If you're new to eating oyster mushrooms, you might expect to be grossed our or at least underwhelmed by some artifically flavored chips. But when you probe a little deeper, you'd be surprised that they turn out to be real mushrooms--not the kind you reconstitute in liquid or freeze and dried vegetable snacks we see in supermarkets. 

At first, they might look a bit odd to you and you might not even have an appetite for these mushroom chicharon bites simply because they lack some appeal especially for non-vegans. You also have to get used to its texture. But gradually it will give you that mildly sweet, earthy flavor and the texture of the stems--think of shortbread cookies with hints of whatever flavor it's supposed to be (in my case, I love their sour cream hands down!)--won me over. The barbecue flavor ones have a nice kick. They are a bit stronger in terms of flavor from the sour cream and the original, which are far milder but without losing the hints of their flavors. 

What do I love about South Spring Chicharon Mushroom Chips? 

Each pack has a delicate, mild flavor with a velvet texture. Oyster mushrooms are not only delicious but it does wonders to our health as they contain erogothioneine, said to be a lesser known antioxidant amino acid that protects the cells of the body, reducing triglycerides which can cause cardiovascular disease. Its significant antibacterial activity is due to an active compound "benzaldehyde", which has been shown to fight off diseases and lift spirits. 

Aside from that, these are the other factors that made me love South Spring Mushroom Chips:

Made from fresh and locally cultivated oyster mushrooms
✔ It's a great family wholesome snack
✔ Product of the Philippines
✔ low in calories
✔ low in sodium
✔ gluten-free
✔ fat-free
✔ cholesterol-free
✔ Rich in Fiber, Iron, Vitamin B6, Folate and Zinc
✔ Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese
✔ Protein, Riboflavin, Niacin and Thiamin
✔ Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Copper
No Transfats too. 

It has amazing health benefits:

✔ Anti-oxidant
✔ Anti-bacterial
✔ Antiviral
✔ Anti-inflammatory
✔ Immune System Support
✔ Lowers Blood Sugar
✔ Lowers Blood Pressure

The ingredients are fresh oyster mushroom, wheat flour, vegetable oil (coconut), salt and spices. 

Allergen information: It has no eggs and no milk. No preservatives. 

South Spring Mushroom Farm also has polvoron mushroom

 If you think all they've got are mushroom chips, think again. South Spring Mushroom Farm amazingly has other exciting products for you to try. They also offer Mushroom Polvoron (sold at Php120) per pack of 10, Chili Garlic Mushroom Oil at Php180, Mushroom Atchara (Pickled Oyster Mushroom at Php250) as well as Oyster Mushroom made Tocino, Tapa and Hamonado sold at 90 and 200 grams per pack. Aren't they exciting to try? 

South Spring Mushroom Farm's Pickled Oyster Mushroom/Atchara

Well, I've never looked at Oyster Mushrooms the same way again. It's delightful to see other products made from locally cultivated oyster mushrooms. I've never even tried oyster mushroom atchara or pickled oyster mushrooms in my life, just now. These pickled mushrooms gives off the right balance of tartness and it's great to add on a salad of hearty goat cheese and torn arugula drizzled in olive oil. The oyster mushrooms are springy in texture but it's perfect pair for anything deep fried. 

South Spring Mushroom Farm's Chili Garlic Mushroom Paste

If you're a siomai fan, you'd be happy to know that South Spring offers Chili Garlic Paste too. They are indeed another perfect pair for it complements the siomai with its spicy kick of chili-garlic and mushroom bits. 

South Spring Mushroom farm also sells fresh oyster mushrooms. They are in the process of developing more concept/innovative products in the near future. Should you be interested to know more or to try any of their awesome mushroom based products, please feel free to call and inquire by sending them a private message on their Facebook account page or call 0917.552.7865

South Spring Mushroom Farm is located at 1149 Mabini Street, Sta. Cruz, Laguna (in front of Baranggay Hall)

Special thanks to Ms. Joanne Tadifa. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

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