The Last Mushroom Farms of the Paris Catacombs

It was not so long ago that all mushrooms were wild mushrooms, and no one had any knowledge of how to grow them deliberately.

Mushroom farm in the Paris Catacombs

Then one day in about 1650, someone noticed a clump of Agaricus bisporus growing on on a pile of horse manure in an underground limestone quarry below Paris, and had the bright idea of attempting to cultivate them deliberately in the cool, moist conditions of the caves. The rest is history, and a $15 billion industry worldwide.

Deep in the abandoned caves and catacombs underneath Paris, some small scale mushroom farms continue to turn out the famed Champignons de Paris. Here is their story.


About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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