It wasn’t so long ago that Jordan Jent, co-owner of Texas Fungus, failed with his first mushroom-growing kit. Mushroom farmers, Jent will tell you, “don’t really want to give you their hard-earned knowledge.” But he and his business partner, high school teacher Adam Cohen, were determined.
The kit company told Jent to troubleshoot using YouTube. Soon he was hacking down trees on his grandmother’s land—where she is now sprouting shiitakes—to inoculate oak logs and grow spores in his garage. As of last year, Texas Fungus’ 2,000-square-foot space in Arlington blooms with a lunar bounty: fast-growing oyster mushrooms in shades of pastel pink, blue, and sunny gold; white elm and fluted Italian; the silky white puff of lion’s mane, with its crabmeat texture; and king trumpet in the winter.
The mycelium gems grow on a substrate of sawdust and soybean hulls, and they quickly captured the attention of chefs at Abacus, Bullion, Cafe Momentum, and others. The kitchen at Grace uses them to make a dried mushroom bottarga. Others sauté, roast, or turn them into po’ boys. And Jent and Cohen’s business continues to, well, mushroom.
Find Texas Fungus at the White Rock Good Local market and Lakewood and Keller farmers markets.