Whether foraging in the wild or simply roaming the aisles of a grocery store,
there are many varieties of mushrooms available for fungi lovers.
Here are some of the more popular.
A subtle note of nuttiness that complements the bite of Parmesan cheese
is why the Italians love their porcini mushrooms. They are often found dried
because of how large they tend to grow but if found fresh they will offer a
more robust palate sensation, filled with umami.
Morels’ earthy and nutty notes have a very distinctive umami finish. As a wild
mushroom they are highly sought after, especially in classical French cuisine,
and are delectable simply sautéed with butter. But wild harvesters should
beware of their poisonous relatives that can appear identical.
Chanterelles have a sweeter note and a peppery finish with a nice, tender
mouth feel and can be found in the wild or be store-bought. Their bite
complements pasta dishes and pairs well with earthy herbs like tarragon
and thyme. They can be mistaken for a poisonous relative that has the
same yellow hue, so it’s best to have an expert identify before consuming
Portobellos, one of the most beloved mushroom species, have a very
versatile texture that can be substituted for meat when grilled or fried in a
pan. The flavor is very subtle with notes of earthiness, smokiness and even a
hint of sweetness. They can be seasoned for just about any world cuisine.
Earthy with a touch of smokiness is how most describe the shiitake on their
palate. This staple in a wide array of Asian cuisines is also highly adaptable
as a meat substitute in all kinds of meals from street tacos to authentic
paella. Shiitakes have a delicate yet meaty mouth feel.
These distinctive long, skinny, noodle-like mushrooms have Korean
origins. As such, they are commonly found in Asian broths and stir-fry
meals. But don’t let these tender, succulent, umami-filled treats miss
your plate as a side with a charbroiled steak or even in a pancake as a
traditional Korean dish.