Mushroom Farms of the Paris Catacombs


[The] button mushroom, which we all enjoy on occasion with our meals, perhaps stirred into a risotto, the champignon de Paris has become a bit of a gastronomic legend. Even if the box has “Champignon de Paris” written on the supermarket label, chances are, they weren’t made in Paris.

By the 19th century, an intensive era of mining in Paris had come to an end. The rich limestone deposits in the Left Bank were running low (after successfully providing enough stone to build half the city), and the sudden commercialisation of concrete saw the quarries abandoned almost overnight.


Monsieur Chambery discovered that there was still a way to exploit the underground cavities, he ditched his vegetable gardens and invested wholly in the cultivation of underground mushrooms

The constant temperature, humidity and darkness of the quarries were ideal for the mushroom, which Chambery continued to cultivate just as he had discovered them…in horse manure.


Via Messy Nessy Chic for the full article and a lot more photographs.

This entry was posted in Culture, History by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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