White Button Mushrooms/Cremini
White buttons feature the classic mushroom umami flavor that is slightly milder than other varieties of mushrooms. Its semi-firm texture elicits a pleasantly crisp bite when sliced raw into salads and other fresh applications. This quintessential mushroom variety also is a perfect pick for any cooking application. The white button mushroom’s flavor intensifies when cooked, and its texture becomes tender, juicy and satisfyingly meaty.
The largest cultivated mushroom (debated), portabellas are a hearty, savory, meaty variety with loads of umami, making them an ideal choice for both meat and meatless dishes. The original veggie burger, a grilled or sautéed portabella cap can satisfy the heartiest of appetites. They steal the show in dishes that show off their large size, rich flavor, and steak-like texture, and are an ideal choice as a whole-ingredient meatless alternative.
Portabella mushrooms have a rich and savory umami flavor and a firm, dense texture. When cooked, their firm texture and hearty juiciness makes for a meaty eating experience. The portabella mushroom’s flavor intensifies when cooked and is an excellent choice for grilling over a smoky fire or sautéing or roasting with a range of herbs and seasonings.
Shiitake mushrooms are often described as having an earthy, smoky flavor and a rich meaty-yet-buttery texture when cooked. It’s no surprise that they are commonly found in an array of dishes that call for bold flavors, yet they are just as at home in weeknight pizza and pasta dishes.
Shiitake mushrooms have been studied for their immune stimulating properties, their large number of healthy antioxidants, and have been used as an anti-inflammatory in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Velvety to the touch and dense in texture, these colorful mushrooms can be found in gray, yellow, pink, and blue.
Sparking the imagination of renowned chefs and amateur home cooks alike, oyster mushrooms are both a visual and flavorful wonder. Their botanical name, Pleurotus Osreatus, translates to “sideways oyster” referring to their unique shape. They grow in clusters, which can be seared ‘chicken under a brick’ style whole – remarkably producing a juicy steak-like entree – or torn into individual stems for incorporation as an ingredient in any variety of mushroom dishes.
Oyster mushrooms are often described as ‘briny’ or having a delicate seafood flavor. Their texture is velvety and dense, and when pan seared, their edges turn deliciously crisp.
Oyster mushrooms have been studied for they may promote heart and immune system health, encourage healthy blood sugar control, and provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Maitake mushrooms have a delicate, rippling fan shape that almost resembles feathers. The distinctive looking Maitake mushroom is known as “Hen of the Woods” thanks to its unique appearance that resembles the tail feathers of a hen. With a rich flavor as unique as it looks, the Maitake mushroom is delicious simply sauteed in butter or oil, browning its delicate edges to your desired degree of crispness. It can also add rich flavor to any recipe calling for mushrooms.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are easily identified by their white color and unique shaggy outer texture that resembles, well, a lion’s mane.
A simple yet stunning go-to cooking technique for this variety is to dry sauté in a hot skillet until water releases and edges brown, then add butter and seasonings. Medium to large in size, these strange and wonderful mushrooms are seafood-like in their flavor and texture, similar to crab or lobster.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been studied for their ability to support the immune system, provide neuroprotection, and help balance emotions.
Morel mushrooms, or just Morels, are a type of wild mushroom with an earthy, nutty flavor. They have a meaty texture, and could easily be mistaken for meat. These mushrooms are a highly desired ingredient among chefs and mushroom enthusiasts. The reason? They're only grown in the wild, unlike farmed mushrooms you'll find in the grocery store (Cremini, Portobella, Oyster, etc.).
Morels vary greatly in size and appearance. Their shape can range from oblong to bulbous, and their color from blonde to gray. They are easy to distinguish by their exterior, which resembles a honeycomb. The inside of a Morel is white and hollow.