Of late, mushrooms have become a magical ingredient in many cuisines across the globe. Mushrooms lend a unique and incredible taste to any dish. Different types of mushrooms are found in the wild, however, not all are edible varieties. Some of them are poisonousand consuming them can be dangerous. Hence, it is extremely essential to carefully choose your mushrooms. Edible mushrooms add a distinct flavor to your cooking. While most edible varieties can now be easily cultivated worldwide, a few of them are difficult to cultivate and hence, end up being the most prized of all varieties. Let us look at some of the edible varieties of mushrooms.
Edible Varieties Of Mushrooms
Table Mushrooms (Agaricus Bisporus)
Table mushroom is one of the most common types of edible mushrooms used in salads and cooking. Commonly known as button mushroom, it is white in color with small caps and stems. All parts of the table mushroom are edible and available in either fresh packaged or canned form.
Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinula Edodes)
Originally from China, shiitake mushrooms are now cultivated in many parts of the world and exported too. Also known as fragrant mushrooms, black mushrooms or black forest mushrooms, they are brown in color with a cap that is 3 to 4 inches in diameter. They have an oaky or woodsy flavor. Widely used in the Chinese cuisine, shiitake mushrooms have now found a prominent place in Western cuisine too. Apart from being used in different cuisines, they also have certain medicinal properties.
Porcini Mushrooms (Boletus Edulis)
Porcini mushrooms are a highly prized variety of mushrooms mainly found in Europe and areas of North America. Also known as penny bun or cep, porcini mushrooms have a distinct aroma and are commonly used in different types of soup preparations. These mushrooms are exported across the world and are sold either fresh or dried.
Giant Puffballs (Calvatia Gigantea)
The giant puffball mushrooms are round or pear shaped in colors of white or slightly grey. The mushrooms have been named giant puffballs, due to their giant size that ranges from a diameter of 70 cm to even 150 cm in some cases. They grow in summer and fall, usually in woods, barren areas, lawns and fields across the globe. To consume this variety, it is best to eat when they are relatively young.
Portobello Mushrooms (Agaricus Campestris)
Also known as field mushroom or meadow mushroom, portobello mushroom has a large, dark brown open cap with a diameter of 4 to 6 inches and a rich, meaty flavor. These mushrooms are found in fields and grassy areas around the world. Known for their mild taste and thick texture, portobello mushrooms are often used as meat substitutes in many vegetarian dishes.
Chanterelle Mushrooms (Cantharellaceae)
The golden appearance of chanterelle mushrooms gives them the name ‘golden chanterelles’. They have trumpet-shaped caps with wavy edges, ranging from a very small size to one that is as large as a fist. Originally from Europe, they are now becoming popular in Asia and United States. They have a strong, pleasant and fruity fragrance. They are appreciated for their inimitable flavor which enhances the taste of a specific preparation.
Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus)
Also known as Pleurotte, these oyster mushrooms get their name from their oyster shell-like shape. They are white, light tan or ivory colored with a large, fan-like cap and a smooth stem. Since these tender mushrooms have a delicate flavor, it is best to prepare them simple so that the flavor is not overpowered. They usually grow on trees and fallen logs in spring, summer, fall and during warm spells in winter.