[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.