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Because of the crisis: Klara Kolodziejska tells how mushrooms are now being used to replace meat in Turkey

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According to UMDIS sources in Turkey, the consumption of mushrooms in this country tends to increase in the last year. Mushrooms are becoming more popular – mainly in the restaurant business. The reason for this, however, is not good for the Turkish economy. The rate of the Turkish lira is now extremely low, inflation is high, and more and more Turks are forced to save.

Restaurants, cafes and bars provides a significant percentage of consumption in Turkey. Dishes in restaurants is usually not expensive – so many families visit restaurants quite often instead of cooking at home.According to information, provided to UMDIS by Klara Kolodziejska, a resident of Turkey of European origin, – in the last few months, restaurant made mushrooms be actively added ingredient for various dishes. This has become a trend. It’s not about dishes with mushrooms, where mushrooms are listed on the menu – it’s about dishes that traditionally included only meat, but now mushrooms have been added instead of part of meat. These are main dishes, also burgers, which now contain a smaller cutlet or less minced meat – but also mushrooms.

Meat is becoming more expensive, and the incomes of Turkish citizens are decreasing – that’s why they are trying to replace meat with mushrooms. While in the USA this trend is actively developed by the Mushroom Council through marketing means, in Turkey it seems to be happening naturally.

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UMDIS agency reminds that, according to modern research, mushrooms have a rather rare umami flavor – which contributes to the fact that a person feels fuller. Therefore, such a replacement is quite scientifically justified. Mushrooms have a dense, meaty structure and can be similar to meat for this reason, moreover mushrooms have many vitamins and elements that make the dish more health.

In Turkey, a package of 400 grams of white champignons in a supermarket costs 16 Turkish lira (0.9 Euro) – i.e. 40 lira per kilogram (2.23 Euro). Klara Kolodziejska compares that 400 grams of beef or lamb will now cost 70-73 lira (4 Euros). 400 grams of tomatoes will cost 12 lira (0.6 Euro). Several other products that compete with mushrooms for Turks when the shopping basket is being filled can be seen on the photos. You can compare the prices (you can divide by 18 sharply to convert to Euros).

Mushrooms in cans usually are not represented by a huge selection in the supermarket. 300-340 gram cans may cost about 33 lira (1.84 Euro).

Consumers in Turkey mostly do not distinguish types of mushrooms – they call them simply “mushroom”. Usually, we are talking about white champignon because other mushrooms on the shelves are practically absent.

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