The fungi kingdom includes a few different culinary-molds. Some are used for preserving food while others transform flavor and texture. Some are able to unlock essential amino and fatty acids, while others contain probiotics, and pre-digest foods so that our bodies can access their nutrients much easier and faster.
Molds are used in cheesemaking and charcuterie too, for instance Penicillium roqueforti is used in blue cheeses.
This species of mold is highly versatile. It contains enzymes that break down fats into fatty acids and proteins into amino acids, both providing complex flavors and aromas. It also has strong saccarafying power which converts starch into sugar. Koji is an essential ingredient in sake, soy sauce, and miso, but can be used to make hundreds of unique recipes.
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Tempeh is another mold that we love to use to transform food. It's mycelium quickly grows on beans and other legumes, bounding them together into "cake" or fuzzy "patties". This fermentation process predigests the beans while giving them a funky, mushroomy flavor.