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Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley (October 11, 2018) – The Brandywine Valley’s Kennett Square is known as the unofficial “Mushroom Capital of the World.” Mushroom cultivation in the United States first began here in 1896, when two local florists decided to make more efficient use of their greenhouses by using the area underneath shelves used to grow ornamental plants. The region’s mushroom production has grown over the years and today yields more than 400 million pounds of mushrooms every year.

With National Mushroom Day just around the corner – on October 15 – we’ve rounded up all the ways you can experience mushrooms in this destination that knows how to put the “fun” into “fungi”:    

  • Eat Them: Mushrooms are harvested in the fall and Kennett mushrooms can be found in dishes throughout Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, especially in soup! Back Burner Restaurant & Tavern in Hockessin features a pumpkin mushroom soup with crouton, crème fraiche and chive; Iron Hill Brewery in Wilmington has Kennett Square Mushroom Soup with herbed truffle oil on tap; and mushroom soup is always on the menu at the Visitor Center Garden Café at Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Library. While the famous Longwood Gardens offers mushroom soup in the café on property, its full-service dining experience, called 1906, also offers a variety of mushroom dishes in its autumn seasonal menu, including portobello fries with green goddess dip, black truffle and mushroom tart, and an Atlantic halibut dish with foraged mushrooms. Fine dining restaurant The House of William & Merry in Hockessin features mushrooms in a unique twist on a classic dish: a sample fall menu might include a house-made ravioli with veal breast-ricotta filling, wild mushroom sauce, crispy shitake, truffle butter and parmesan. Another regional favorite is the mushroom flatbread with caramelized onion and fontina cheese at Buckley’s Tavern in Wilmington.

  • Ring in the New Year: Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley celebrates New Year’s in style with a mushroom drop in Kennett Square. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. and the lighted mushroom is raised at 8:45 p.m., with the drop taking place at – you guessed it – midnight!

  • Learn About Them: Back by popular demand in 2019, Longwood Gardens will host an Ideas for Impact: The World of Mushrooms continuing education class on Saturday, February 19, 2019. This session is an immersive experience into the world of mushrooms, with speakers, a lunch featuring several mushroom dishes and a visit to two local mushrooms growers for a custom tour.  

  • Go to a Festival: An annual Mushroom Festival is held each September. Always scheduled for the first weekend after Labor Day, the festival has grown over the years – 2019 will mark its 34th year – and now features culinary events, exhibits, children’s entertainment and hundreds of vendors. 

For more information about mushrooms or for help planning a visit to the area, please visit


Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley is in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region and less than a two-hour drive from both New York City and Washington. Steeped in American history and the legacy of the famed du Pont family, Greater Wilmington is a destination marked by sharp contrasts – town and garden, past and present, historic and hip. From renowned gardens, world-class museums, colonial towns, outdoor adventure, festivals, and an ever-growing craft beer and restaurant scene, each experience is more vibrant, more unique and more authentic than the last. Learn more at And to see the beauty of the Brandywine Valley now, watch this:


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Sara Martin
Mindy Bianca Public Relations