A mushroom is a structure that some fungi use to reproduce. It looks like the fruit of a plant, but the “seeds” it makes are millions of tiny spores that grow in the gills or pores under the cap of the mushroom. The cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus sports, is the standard for the word “mushroom.” Because of this, the word “mushroom” is most often used to describe fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) on the underside of the cap.
Ten Different Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are fungi, which may sound gross but are very interesting to cooks because of their unique earthy flavors and tasty textures. Even though each of the mushrooms below looks and tastes different, they are all mushrooms, so they share a few things.
First of all, always choose mushrooms that are bright and have no marks on them. Consider drying them to keep them for longer. Store them in paper bags (not plastic, because they will get soft). Use it within a few days of buying it.
Second, mushrooms will soak up any water that touches them, so keep them dry. A mushroom brush or a dry paper towel can clean up grown mushrooms. For mushrooms that need a little more cleaning, please give them a quick swish or rinse in water and then put them on a clean kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels.
Don’t wash mushrooms in advance; clean them right before you use them. As many ways as there are days in the decade, there are ways to cook mushrooms. After you’ve sautéed, grilled, and fried them, you might want to try adding them to risotto or putting them on a different kind of pizza.
1. Button Mushrooms
Most of us think of these mushrooms when we hear the word “mushroom.” There are different sizes. Look for specimens with caps that have “opened” to see the dark brown gills under the cap. These will have a stronger taste. You can use them in soup in a lot of different ways. When you cook them, remember that, like all mushrooms, they will release a lot of liquid, so make sure the heat is high and the pan is big.
2. Chanterelle Mushrooms
The taste of chanterelles is more refined than the taste of most other mushrooms. They have a soft earthiness and a wonderful nuttiness. Older chanterelles can get a metallic taste, so always try a small piece of a raw one before you cook the whole batch. Since they only grow in the wild, you can look for them at places like specialty markets and farmers’ markets that sell wild foods. If you want to find them on your own, learn from a mycologist or mushroom expert who has done it before.
If you have a lot of chanterelles, you might want to try making pickled chanterelles.
3. Clamshell Mushrooms
People also call these beech mushrooms. Like the more well-known enoki, they grow in clusters that can be pulled apart or cut into pieces to cook and serve. Even though you might want to add them raw as a pretty garnish, you should cook them because cooking makes their bitter taste milder and sweeter.
4. Cremini Mushrooms
Cremini mushrooms look like white button mushrooms but are brown instead of white. Cremini and button mushrooms can be used interchangeably in recipes, but cremini mushrooms are a little bit denser and have a deeper flavor than button mushrooms. People often don’t know that creminis are just baby portobellos or that portobellos are just creminis that have grown up. They taste especially good in a pilaf or soup made with wild rice.
5. Enoki Mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms, also called winter mushrooms, are often added to bowls of ramen or other soups almost as a garnish. They have a very mild flavor that is sometimes hard to notice. Enoki grows in bunches and is sold that way. You can pull them apart or cut them into smaller pieces or separate stalks.
6. Hedgehog Mushrooms
Because they have a slightly sweet edge, these wild mushrooms are also called “sweet tooth mushrooms” or “pied de mouton,” which is French for “sheep’s foot.” Most people say they taste a lot like chanterelles, and like chanterelles, they can get a metallic taste as they age. They grow in the winter in the western United States. Try sautéing them to get the most out of their unique taste.
7. King Trumpet Mushrooms
These big mushrooms are also French horn mushrooms, king brown mushrooms, and king oysters. When cooked, their thick stems stay nice and meaty, which makes them perfect for vegetarian dishes that need a “meaty” element.
8. Morel Mushrooms
Morels are cone-shaped mushrooms that look like little sponges. Their colors range from pale, almost white beige to deep, almost black brown. They grow in the wild and have a unique flavor that is mildly earthy.
9. Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are more fragile than other types of cultivated mushrooms. Like stir-frying, they taste and feel best when cooked quickly over high heat. Look for yellow oyster mushrooms, pink oyster mushrooms, and other colors of oyster mushrooms (know, however, that the distinctive color will fade when cooked).
10. Portobello Mushrooms
Portobellos are big, meaty, juicy mushrooms that are big and fat. These mushrooms are as big as a hand and are great for grilling or roasting. A whole grilled portobello is a great main dish or burger substitute for vegetarians. Portobellos are just cremini mushrooms left to grow up and out. For the best taste, look for dark brown gills that are fully exposed.
How to Preserve Chanterelle Mushrooms?
Chanterelle mushrooms (Cantharellus species) are highly valued by people who hunt wild mushrooms and chefs in restaurants. They are one of the tastiest types of fungi and give any dish they are in an interesting shape, color, and texture. You can eat these mushrooms all year long because they are easy to keep fresh. But it would help if you got them while you can because chanterelles are usually only available for a few months out of the year. If you find and buy more chanterelles than you can use while they are still fresh, you don’t have to eat them with every meal until they are gone.
One way to keep mushrooms fresh that doesn’t work well for chanterelles is to freeze them. This does not, however, include making them dry out. Most mushrooms, whether wild or grown, dry well, but chanterelles lose a lot of their great flavor when dried. There are, luckily, a few other ways to keep them fresh, all of which involve cooking them quickly and then putting them in the freezer.
The best way to keep the quality of chanterelles is to cook them before freezing them. There are three ways to cook frozen chanterelles that will give you great results: sautéing in fat, sautéing without fat, and steaming. If you’d rather, you can also pickle these mushrooms. But no matter how you choose to store the chanterelles, you will need to clean them first.
Before you can cook mushrooms, you must clean them, which takes a certain method. When it comes to how to clean mushrooms, there are two schools of thought. One problem is that they soak up the water you use to clean them like sponges and become soggy when cooked. On the other hand, some food scientists say that the opposite is true. They say mushrooms already have water, so adding a little more won’t make much difference. They say that wet mushrooms cook better than dry mushrooms (the dry quickly absorbs the cooking fat and become greasy). Whether you clean with water or not is up to you, but it may also depend on where you bought the chanterelles in the first place.
Most of the dirt is already off of mushrooms you buy at the store, so that you can clean them quickly with a paper towel or a vegetable brush. But if your chanterelles came straight from the ground, they may be dirty, and a simple wipe won’t be enough to clean them. In this case, hold the mushrooms under a slow stream of water while you wipe off the dirt with a towel. For the best results when freezing, dry the mushrooms overnight on a cooling rack before moving on to the cooking steps.
Sauté in Butter or Oil
This method is like cooking the mushrooms before adding them to a dish. First, clean the mushrooms and, if you want, cut the chanterelles into small pieces. Melt a little butter in a pan that is on medium-low heat. Add the chanterelles and cook them, stirring or turning them over every so often, until they first let out their juices and then soaked them up again. Because chanterelles are fairly dry, this usually only takes 5 to 10 minutes, which is less time than it does with other mushrooms.
Take the chanterelles off the heat and let them cool for a few minutes. Move them to freezer bags or containers with tight lids and freeze them.
Add the mushrooms to the hot, dry skillet and cook them while stirring or tossing them until their juices come out and they soak them up again. It will take between 5 and 10 minutes to do this. Take the pan off the heat and give the mushrooms a few minutes to cool down. Please put them in freezer bags or containers that won’t let air in and freeze them.
This last technique is quite simple and needs little attention. First, put a steamer basket on top of a pot and fill it with water. Make sure that the water level is below the steamer basket. You don’t want the mushrooms to touch any water.
Take the basket of mushrooms out of the steamer and let them cool for 5 minutes. Add the chanterelles when the water starts to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it steam for 10 minutes. Put the chanterelles in freezer bags or containers that seal well and put them in the freezer.
Mushrooms can be found at the edge of forests, in the dark, at the base of trees, in a ring in the grass, growing on dead and decaying organic matter, and even on your lawn. People know that mushrooms make the immune system stronger. When they are taken in too large of a dose, some people also get nosebleeds, dry noses and throats, and other problems. Some people also get rashes and skin irritations from the mushrooms.