With so many types of mushrooms, the possibility of experimenting is endless. They are popular around the world due to their versatility as well as their meat-like heft and texture and also, these days we generally don't have to travel further than the produce aisle to explore them all.
Here, we take a look at the most popular edible mushroom varieties.
The most common and mildest-tasting mushroom around. Ninety percent of the mushrooms we eat are this variety. Less intensely flavored than many of its more exotic kin, it can be eaten either raw or cooked, and works well in soups and salads, and on pizzas.
A crimino or cremini is a young portobello. Although the crimino is darker, firmer and more flavorful than its cousin the white button mushroom, the two can be used interchangeably. Increasingly, retailers hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the portabellos are selling crimini mushrooms as "baby bellas."
Common in Italian cooking, dense, rich portobellos lend depth to sauces and pastas and make a great meat substitute. If you want a bun-substitute, you can even use the mushroom's flat cap. Mushrooms of this variety are as wide as the palm of your hand, and their meaty texture stands up to grilling and stuffing.
In Japanese, Shitake means "oak fungus," which describes where the mushrooms can be found in the wild. These days, however, most shitakes are cultivated. They're best identified by their umbrella-shaped brown caps, which curl under ever so slightly. Fresh shiitakes have a light woodsy flavor and aroma, while their dried counterparts are more intense.
From afar, this mushroom can look like a head of cabbage. Cultivated, as well as found in the woods, these mushrooms are often sold in clusters with their soft, feathery caps overlapping. This mushroom has an earthy aroma and a gamy flavor, that is why it is also known as 'Hen of the Wood'.
Although these can be found in the wild growing on the sides of trees, the ones you'll find in the store or on a menu are most likely cultivated. Like their namesakes, they're whitish in color and fan-shaped, and possess a delicate odor and flavor. Oyster mushrooms are found in many Japanese and Chinese dishes such as soups and stir-fries.
The edible variety of these mushrooms feature small, shiny white caps attached to thin stems and possess a distinctive crunch. They're good raw. In the wild, they grow on Chinese Hackberry trees, ash trees, mulberry trees, and persimmon trees.
A fleetingspringtime treatin the Midwest and West. You can’t mistake its conical, spongy look and woodsy flavor.
Trumpet-like, with a depression in the center of its cap, the chanterelle is one of the most popular wild mushrooms. Golden-hued, fleshy and firm, they're described as having an apricot-like scent.
Slightly reddish-brown in color, porcini are one of the most prized wild mushrooms, sought out for their smooth texture and aromatic, woodsy flavor.
These were some of the mushrooms that we commonly see in the menu card, try them out and let me know in the comments section below!