Mushrooms have been used medicinally in China for more than 6,000 years. In ancient Egypt mushrooms were declared to be a food for royalty and no ordinary citizens could touch them. It was also believed that whoever ate these mushrooms would become immortal. The Romans called mushrooms "food of the gods," and served them on festive occasions. They were thought to provide warriors with unusual strength. In pre- modern Europe people thought mushrooms were grown by evil spirits. The greatest event in the history of mushroom culture in the United States occurred in 1926 when a farmer found a clump of pure white mushrooms in a bed of uniformly cream-colored fungi. Most of the mushrooms grown in the US today are descendants of this white clump.