‘Magic mushrooms’! Not your typical Amsterdam find but a legal, mastered version all over. Let’s put it this way, they aren’t magic by chance. This family owned mushroom business is run by a father and his two sons. One happens to be my sister’s fiancée George and the other is my ‘koumparos’ Nicos (best man in Greek). Talk about living on a small island! Coincidently, being connected to it by chance and by choice, this mushroom empire, as I joke it to be, is very dear to my heart. Seeing it grow and blossom, it has been at the expense of many sacrifices. Sheer hard work, long hours and dedication have made it what it is today.
‘Kyriakides Mushrooms’ is based in my home town, Limassol and houses five different types of mushrooms: white, oyster, portobello, portobellini and shitake. In a league of its own in quality, management, professionalism and vision, this company provides us with fresh, healthy and delicious produce which is vital for our diet.
For the last fifteen years, these mushrooms have made themselves a prominent part of my family’s diet, even more so when the Kyriakides ‘boys’ are around. When out for dinner, we know to order mushrooms (especially if supplied there and actually the choice of restaurant sometimes even depends on this), when at home we are brought a variety to serve on the table and when abroad, we just do some all-round mushroom tasting. The boys make sure the whole extended family is never without their produce. Learning new recipes through their website and generally being inventive with this vegetable (classified as one even though it isn’t a plant) has made it easier to serve as a starter and a main dish. Knowing that mushrooms are high in antioxidants, selenium and vitamin D we appreciate their taste even more.
Now the fasting period is over, we can enjoy delicious mushroom recipes to the maximum as they are a great combo with both dairy products and meat. There are many to choose from, just visit : www.kyriakides.com.cy to see what tickles your fancy. These three recipes are tried and tested by moi. You should try them! Click on the pictures below.
Pictures with the ‘Magic Mushrooms’. What an educational, interactive visit! My two youngest children had great fun picking and packaging mushrooms as well as posing for the camera with the boys and their leading ladies!
Some interesting facts I found out about the place when I went to visit. Worth reading and seeing!
Mushrooms are grown indoors! Not in the fields nor on trees 🙂
- Mushroom growing is a lot of hard work. The boys joke around and say that communication between their mushrooms is necessary if they are to be of the best quality.
- All growing rooms are tightly sealed and the climate inside is carefully monitored with the help of specifically designed computer systems.
- Hygiene is of utmost importance (knowing mushrooms are fungus, this took me by surprise).
- Nobody is allowed to enter the building without wearing gloves and a disinfected uniform.
- All growing rooms are sterilized between crops to ensure the most hygienic environment possible. “We take health and safety seriously around here!” George Kyriakides.
- All mushrooms are carefully harvested by hand and then graded according to size and maturity. Even though hand picking is a difficult job, it is the only way to ensure the best quality possible.
- After harvesting, the mushrooms are quickly cooled to ensure a longer shelf life and then packaged in the ‘Kyriakides Mushrooms’ blue container- a trademark now in Cyprus.
Their funky use of transport ensures daily delivery around Cyprus. I loved it!
- Employees look after the mushrooms 7 days a week, “mushrooms never look at the calendar. Freshly harvested mushrooms find themselves on store counters daily. The vast majority of mushrooms are placed on store counters within 24 hours of harvesting.” Nicos Kyriakides.
- 40 employees help everything run like clockwork.
- Traceability is paramount! The boys can tell when a mushroom was harvested, from which growing room and by which person!