Mind Over Mushroom Challenge, Day 20: ‘Magic’ Mushrooms

The work day ends and I hit the streets – on the hunt for Christmas presents. The big day is getting close and I’m not prepared. Natural sunlight has long since left for the day and by the time I make it back home I’m well into the evening hours. I have, however, called in the reinforcements so I have a mushroom meal already almost ready as I open the door.

My dining companion stands in front of the stove flipping burgers. Today I am trying mushrooms burgers for the third time. The first mushroom burger was a regular veggie patty smothered in sliced mushrooms, the second was store-bought pre-made burgers, and today I am having the grand-daddy of mush-burgs: The Portobello mushroom burger (the real kind where the patty is the whole mushroom cap.)

I look at the burgers in the fry pan and I’m astonished.

“Wow! Those don’t even look like mushrooms.” And they don’t. They look like meat burgers. They also smell like meat burgers and it seems impossible that a gigantic mushroom cap can transform so completely when it’s fried up.

As I do a mini-photoshoot of the burgers, lifting the bun, capturing different angles, I’m impressed all over again. The seemingly impossible transition has me on edge. When it the other shoe going to drop?

Lifting the burger to my mouth, I think of the gills and the texture and take a tiny bite. It seems just fine. I take another bite, a bigger one. And then another. Halfway through the burger I realize that it is absolutely delicious. There is no other shoe! It must be the Portobello mushroom – in each meal they’ve been in, I’ve been fine. Maybe it really is a mushroom with special edible capabilities.

“So how did you make them? Did you cut out the gills and the stem? I can’t see any remnants of them. It’s crazy – they look like a real burger.”

My dining companion turns to me, brow furrowed, with a look of suspicious puzzlement. “What? No. You wanted me to pick through the patties and take those pieces out?”

*a long pause*


The shoe drops.

“I got these from the mushroom burger package in the freezer.”

All at once, everything clicks into place and I realize I’ve been had. These aren’t Portobello mushroom cap burgers at all. They are, in fact, the same burgers I’ve already eaten on Day 12. I close my eyes and groan at my stupidity. It all makes sense. There’s no way a mushroom cap could just magically transform into something that looks, tastes, and smells like something better.

I never specified that I had to eat a different type of mush meal each day, but that was something I was trying to do. That is now no longer a possibility. I am a bit disappointed because I had thought the giant mushroom cap as the patty would be a really good test of where I stand, but now I must forge on ahead to the rest of the remaining meals.

I’ve done a lot of embarrassing things in my challenges. This one is kind of up there. I mean, I was halfway through my meal before I even realized something was amiss…

Comparison of Portobello Mushroom Burgers


I just never thought my dining companion would trick me like that. I never saw it coming.

Today’s Fungus Feast:

‘Magic’ Burgers – portobello & white mushrooms, swiss cheese, cheddar, provolone, avocado, onions, chipotle, and buns

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