Fermentation is a chemical transformation that happens when compounds are broken down or metabolized. Fermentation is a process of “becoming.” It happens thanks to the life process of tiny beings—friendly microbes such as yeast and bacteria whose own life cycles and metabolisms help us humans stay healthy and fed. Milk meets a simple life form and becomes easily digestible yogurt. Cabbage can become kimchi, grapes become wine, and flour becomes bread.
It’s a fact: mushrooms are notoriously tricky to identify. It’s possible to have two mushrooms that look similar to the eye, but are fundamentally different at a genetic level. So, for as long as humans have been benefiting from mushrooms as food and medicine, we’ve relied on experts to verify their correct identity. Mycologists (mushroom scientists) have been steadily building our body of knowledge on how to distinguish each unique type of mushroom. One of the best ways turns out to be DNA testing.