Types of Mushrooms
Not so way back, button mushrooms dominated , however immediately you’ll discover dozens of various mushrooms—each cultivated and wild, recent and dried—in greengrocers, gourmand shops, ethnic markets, and farmers’ markets. Many mushrooms are additionally out there by mail order.
Listed below are a number of the extra common mushroom varieties. Some could be fairly costly, however even only a few great specimens can remodel a dish.
Button mushroom (white mushroom, champignon): For a few years, these mild-flavored, clean, round-capped mushrooms had been the one ones grown commercially in america. The truth is, they nonetheless make up a lot of the domestically cultivated crop. These mushrooms could be present in a number of totally different colours—white, off-white, and brown (usually referred to as cremini or crimini)—however all of them belong to a single species, Agaricus bisporus. They vary in diameter from one-half inch (the true “buttons”) to three inches (referred to as “jumbos”) and are sometimes offered prepackaged. Their delicate taste intensifies and improves when cooked.
Chanterelle (girolle, pfifferling, black trumpet): The identify chanterelle covers a whole household of trumpet-shaped mushrooms with frilly caps that vary in colour from white and yellow-gold to black. In France, black chanterelles are recognized by the deceptive identify trompettes de la mort (“trumpets of dying”), although they don’t seem to be toxic. Chanterelles aren’t cultivated, however are gathered wild, primarily within the Pacific Northwest, the place specimens bigger than a foot broad and heavier than 2 kilos usually are not unusual. They’re additionally imported. Chanterelles have a flowery, fruity aroma and a light-weight peppery style. Dried chanterelles could be fairly rubbery when cooked.
Hen-of-the-woods (sulfur shelf mushroom): To not be confused with hen-of-the-woods, this massive mushroom grows on tree trunks as a collection of sulfur-yellow to orange fan-shaped cabinets, every mostly 2 to 10 inches throughout. The identify chicken-of-the-woods comes from its meaty, virtually chicken-like texture and taste. Although it will possibly develop to 16 inches throughout, solely the youthful, smaller mushrooms are value consuming.
Cremini mushrooms: Additionally referred to as brown or Italian brown mushrooms, cremini are literally quite a lot of button mushroom with a extra intense taste. Mature, full-grown cremini are marketed as portobellos.
Enoki (enokitake, enoki-daki): Native to Japan, ivory-colored enoki are utilized in many Asian dishes. They’ve tiny caps and appear like a cluster of long-legged sprouts joined in a clump on the base. Their delicate, virtually candy style and crisp texture is finest appreciated when they’re served uncooked, or very flippantly cooked.
Huitlacoche (cuitlacoche, maize mushroom, Mexican truffle): This fungus grows totally on candy corn in damp climate, inflicting a illness referred to as corn smut. The contaminated kernels develop into swollen and oddly formed, turning black inside and silvery grey outdoors. Lengthy thought of a delicacy in Mexico, huitlacoche could be bought recent or frozen by mail order or canned in some Hispanic markets. Historically it’s most frequently utilized in tacos, quesadillas, and different tortilla-based meals in addition to in soups. These days yow will discover it in quite a lot of gourmand dishes. Whether or not recent or canned, the fungus exudes a black juice when cooked and has a style that has been variously described as “mushroom-like,” candy, savory, woody, earthy, musty, and even smoky. Don’t purchase recent huitlacoche if the fungus seems dry and powdery; it’s too previous.
Maitake (hen-of-the-woods): This Japanese mushroom, which resembles the physique of a small hen, is now generally cultivated in america. Maitakes have a particular aroma and a wealthy, woodsy style. They’re additionally out there dried.
Morels: One of many highest-priced mushrooms as a result of they’re often harvested within the wild (although they’re grown commercially in Michigan), morels are small, darkish brown mushrooms with conical, spongy caps. They’ve an particularly intense, earthy taste, which some describe as nutty or smoky. The morel’s honeycombed floor—which requires particular consideration to scrub—makes it ideally suited for absorbing sauces, and its hole cap is ideal for stuffing. Morels are additionally out there dried.
Oyster mushrooms (tree oyster mushroom): These mushrooms are available a spread of colours, together with off-white, pink, yellow, and gray-brown. Oyster mushrooms develop in tight clusters and are extremely tender. The truth is, they soften in your mouth. They’ve an elusive delicate taste that some say is paying homage to oysters. They’re additionally out there dried.
Porcini (king bolete, cèpe, Steinpilz): These mushrooms have a stout stem and a spongy floor, somewhat than gills, beneath the brown caps. Porcini mushrooms vary in diameter from 1 to 10 inches. In america, they’re present in Washington and Oregon. They’re imported from France and Italy throughout the summer time and fall. Porcinis are costly, however their earthy, nutty, woodsy taste is properly value the associated fee. Most porcinis are offered as dried slices or powder. The dried porcinis are sometimes used as a spice—including umami in addition to their earthy, nutty, woodsy taste to cooked savory dishes—somewhat than as a dish in themselves. Dried porcinis can final virtually indefinitely when saved accurately.
Portobellos (Romas): Initially imported from Italy, however now broadly grown in america, tan/brown portobellos are literally totally mature cremini mushrooms. (The identify “portobello” was coined by entrepreneurs.) As massive as four to five inches in diameter, these hearty mushrooms are somewhat meaty-flavored and textured. Not like many different mushrooms, their black gills are utterly uncovered. Portobello mushrooms are particularly well-suited to grilling or roasting.
Reishi mushrooms:Extensively prized in Asia, the place they’re believed to be an immune-booster, bitter-flavored reishi could be discovered each recent and dried in Asian markets and by mail order. Attempt these mushrooms in Chinese language soups.
Shiitake mushrooms (goldenoak, forest, black forest, Chinese language black): Grown for a whole lot of years solely in Japan, China, and Korea, shiitake mushrooms are actually cultivated in america. The caps have a leathery really feel and a pronounced mushroomy style, with a barely peppery end. A number of packaged business manufacturers can be found in supermarkets and gourmand shops. Dried shiitakes are sometimes offered in Asian and different markets as “Chinese language black mushrooms.”
Straw mushrooms (paddy straws): These are the traditional little mushrooms utilized by Chinese language eating places in stir-fries. They’re virtually all the time offered canned, however could be bought recent or dried by mail order and in some gourmand markets. It’s value maintaining an eye fixed out for dried straw mushrooms, as a result of they’ve a much more intense taste than the canned.
Truffles: These so-called “diamonds of the kitchen” develop utterly underground on the roots of oak timber. Truffles are thought of by many the last word gourmand mushroom, with a uniquely intense earthy taste and aroma. Scarce and exceptionally tough to domesticate and harvest—they require a skilled pig or canine to smell them out—these delicacies price a small fortune. Costs fluctuate, relying on the amount of a 12 months’s harvest, from as little as $600 to greater than $1,000 a pound.Black trufflesusually come from Périgord in southwestern France.White trufflesare gathered round Alba, Italy. White and a few black truffles are additionally being grown in Oregon. Contemporary truffles are solely out there from late December to March. They’re additionally out there in cans and jars at some gourmand retailers.
Wooden ears (cloud ears, tree ears, black fungus): This short-stemmed mushroom grows wild on the trunks of walnut, elder, and beech timber. As soon as offered solely in dried kind in Asian markets, recent wooden ears are actually extra broadly out there. They’ve fitted caps that change significantly in measurement and should have a moist, jellylike look (that is regular). The mushroom’s barely gelatinous, virtually crunchy, texture supplies an attention-grabbing distinction in stir-fries, noodle and grain dishes, soups, and stews.