There are so many different kinds of mushrooms to try! Although button and portobello mushrooms are the most popular, there is a vast universe of fungi to explore. More types are now available in grocery shops in the United States than ever before, and don’t forget farmer’s markets!
There are currently approximately 10,000 different known varieties of mushrooms. That may sound like a lot, but mycologists believe it’s only a small percentage of what’s out there!
In this article, we will show you just a few of those 10,000 varieties of mushrooms!
Different Varieties of Mushrooms
White Button Mushroom
This mushroom is the most common variety and has the mildest flavor. This type of mushroom accounts for 90 percent of the mushrooms we eat. Baby mushrooms or white mushrooms are other names for them. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and they go well in soups, salads, and pizzas. It has a milder flavor than many of its more exotic relatives.
The portobello mushroom, also known as portobella or portabella, is popularly consumed worldwide by Agaricus bisporus mushroom. The white mushroom and cremini (also known as baby bella) are the same mushroom kind, simply at a younger stage of development. The portobello has the meatiest and savory flavor because it is the oldest stage. These mushrooms are ideal for use as meat substitutes (of course, just for the flavor and not the protein!)
Agaricus bisporus is also known as Cremino mushroom, classic brown mushroom, Roman brown mushroom, Italian brown mushroom, Swiss brown mushroom, or chestnut mushroom when it is young and brown. Cremini mushrooms, often called baby bella mushrooms, are little brown-topped mushrooms. Agaricus bisporus is one of the most extensively consumed mushroom kinds on the planet. Cremini mushrooms are the same species as button mushrooms and portobellos, although they mature one stage later. They have a more rich, meaty, and savory flavor as a result of this.
“Hen-of-the-woods,” “sheep’s head,” and “ram’s head” are all names for the grifola frondosa species. Maitake is a mushroom that grows at the base of oak trees and has been used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine for millennia. For a hearty meat alternative, toss them into pizza or ramen.
If you’ve only ever tasted button mushrooms, the sight of oyster mushrooms may seem scary at first. If you don’t like seafood, don’t worry. They may resemble oysters in appearance, but they do not taste like them.
They have a mild, sweet flavor and are an excellent transitional mushroom from portobellos to more experimental mushrooms.
King Oyster Mushrooms
King Oysters are just regular oyster mushrooms that grow on top of a thick, white stem. They’re huge mushrooms that usually come in trays of four or five. When compared to typical oyster mushrooms, they have an extremely hard meaty texture.
These mushrooms, in particular, have heart and immune-system-boosting properties and, due to their size, make a wonderful main dish for a vegetarian or vegan meal.
These mushrooms, sometimes known as Clamshell mushrooms, have brown caps with a crunchy texture and are sweet and nutty in flavor. This is true only when they are cooked, which is the ideal method to consume them. You’ll notice a harsh taste if you eat them raw, which you’re not likely to enjoy.
Bay Bolete Mushroom
The Bay Bolete mushroom, a distant relative of the more well-known porcini, has a mild flavor. It’s common to see them in Mexican marketplaces near Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park, where they are commonly harvested. Young mushrooms of this variety are good raw, and older mushrooms are great for drying. Any form is tasty and flavorful when cooked in some vegan butter!
Black Trumpet Mushroom
Edible mushrooms are difficult to come by and are said to have a great flavor. Black chanterelles are another name for black trumpets. They aren’t the most appealing mushroom in terms of appearance, they have a funnel shape and resemble trumpets in appearance, but their flavor is very much sought after. The flavor has been described as deep and smokey. When allowed to dry, they take on notes of black truffle, which is a very expensive mushroom.
The chanterelle mushroom is regarded as a gourmet mushroom. It has a sensitive texture and a strong flavor and is brilliant orange or yellow in color. Chanterelle is picked in the fall and grows under hardwood trees such as oaks. They are not recommended to forage for, especially for beginners, as poisonous look-alikes of it exist.
Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
Chicken of the woods, often known as chicken mushroom, is a tasty edible mushroom that tastes, as the name suggests, like chicken. Depending on the species, these mushrooms are most commonly found in enormous, fan-like clusters that are sometimes linked to a living or dead tree of some sort. Chicken of the woods mushrooms is typically vibrantly colored, ranging from orange to yellow.
The gills beneath the mushroom’s cap give it the name “hedgehog” or “sweet tooth.” They dangle down, generating prickly hedgehog-like forms. If cooked properly, they have a sweet, nutty flavor and a crispy texture. Sauteed, pickled, or cooked in milk or stock are all options.
Because there are no dangerous lookalikes, harvesting hedgehog mushrooms is quite safe.
Shiitake mushrooms are mostly found in Japan, Korea, and China, which explains why they are so popular in all Asian cuisines. Shiitake is a Japanese word meaning “oak fungus,” which is how mushrooms are found in the wild. The majority of shiitake mushrooms are now grown. Their umbrella-shaped brown heads, which curl under slightly, are their most distinguishing feature.
They have a mild woodsy flavor and aroma, while their dried cousins have a stronger aroma and flavor. They’re delicious and meaty, and they’re great on top of meat dishes or in soups and sauces.
Fresh or canned enoki mushrooms can be found in markets everywhere. According to experts, fresh enoki specimens with firm, white, shining tops are preferred over those with slimy or brownish stems. They’re delicious, even uncooked, and are commonly used in Asian cuisine.
Due to their slender, pin-like form and white hue, these small edible mushrooms are easily identified. Enoki mushrooms are a delicate nuttiness and texture that may be added to any dish in various ways, including pickled or swiftly fried.
Caesar’s mushrooms have a long and illustrious history, as their name suggests. They were a favourite of the Roman nobles and are native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa. The immature button stage is when it is most typically consumed. It is commonly served raw in Italy with oil and salt, but it is also great when fried with spices.
Porcini mushrooms are the kings of the wild mushrooms. They are known by a variety of names. Their Italian name is ‘porcini,’ whereas the French word is cep, and the English name is Penny Bun. Fresh porcini are difficult to come by and expensive due to their wild and seasonal nature, but they can be sliced and fried like any other mushroom. Dried porcini are a good, less expensive substitute, but they must be rehydrated in hot water before cooking, which results in a flavorful mushroom stock.
The maitake mushroom is a light brown edible fungus that grows in feathery clusters at the base of trees. It is endemic to North America, Europe, and China and is also known as the hen of the wood mushroom. Maitake has been consumed in China and Japan for generations; in fact, maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese. They are best served cooked and have a distinctly earthy, peppery flavor.
This is one of the most well-studied medicinal mushrooms. They are extremely rough to eat in any form other than tea despite all their medicinal properties.
Some mushrooms are edible, with flavors ranging from sweet to nutty, and some even have a lobster-like flavor. Other types can be utilized for therapeutic purposes, such as boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and possibly even curing cancer and other serious disorders.
We hope reading this article helped you learn about some new types of mushrooms that you might not have heard of before! How about some tasty cooked mushrooms now?