It’s not often scientists identify new species down a grocery store aisle, advertised beneath bright, florescent lights, but for the researchers from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew in London, the first of possibly many newly discovered mushrooms have been found in packages. In the advent of National Mushroom Month this September, discovering three new types of mushrooms is certainly something to celebrate. After adding three new mushroom species onto the list of porcini mushrooms, researchers published their study in PeerJ, an exciting moment for researchers who thought they had already unearthed all of nature’s variety.

Biologists Bryn Dentinger and Laura Martinez-Suz specialize in mushrooms, giving them the title mycologists, and they discovered a pack of mushrooms that raised red flags. Dentinger’s wife is actually who spurred the research exploration when she purchased a package of porcini mushrooms and the back of the package said they were of tropical origin. She was surprised because porcini mushrooms are usually grown in temperate climates, so she showed her husband and he agreed it was odd, since they are normally grown in North America or picked wildly from China.

It was then Dentinger and his colleague investigated the mysterious mushroom batch. They collected the various mushroom samples from the packets and performed DNA-sequencing barcoding tests and then compared it to a worldwide database that contained every species known to man. "None of them had scientific names, so these were essentially new species to science," Dentiger told CBC News. "And we found three different species in the 15 pieces that we sampled from."

Porcini is a gastronomical label that Italians began to use to describe the unique nutty flavor of the mushroom. The new mushrooms are all safe for consumption and the discovery points toward the possibility of species evolution within the fungi family. There’s a lot more diversity in the kingdom of fungi than researchers previously thought, and they’re hopeful they’ll find more whether from nature or from the produce aisle.

Celebrate the new mushrooms during National Mushroom Month by making an effort to incorporate more mushrooms into your diet. Mushrooms are the only food in the produce aisle with a sufficient amount of vitamin D, and can deliver enough antioxidants of selenium and ergothioneine, which help maintain a healthy immune system. They also provide vitamin B, which helps provide the body with energy, break down proteins, and unnecessary fats and carbohydrates. Mushrooms are so good for your health, Ancient Egyptians once believed they were the plant of immortality, according to hieroglyphics from more than 4,600 years ago.

Source: Suz LM and Dentinger BTM. What’s for dinner? Undescribed species of porcini in a commercial packet. PeerJ. 2014.