Whether you want to cultivate mushrooms using mushroom spores or you’re just thinking of which type of mushroom to order online for your next big cooking project, it makes sense to look at more than just the most basic varieties and make an informed choice.
The best place to start is looking up the most popular mushrooms that are preferred worldwide by skilled chefs. Here are a few of the most notable varieties that you’ll find out there:
- Anyone who enjoys good Italian cuisine has probably already heard of Portabello mushrooms. These are field, open cap mushrooms that add a unique depth to sauces and pastas. They can also act as excellent replacement ingredients for meat in vegan dishes. Moreover, while Portabellos are young, they are very tiny and they’re called “Crimini.” During this stage, they can be used for a variety of dishes that make more use of their richer flavor. Portabellos are also great for grilling and stuffing, and their texture can add an amazing feel to just about any meal that uses mushrooms.
- The white button mushroom is probably the most common type of mushroom out there. As the name would suggest, it resembles a button and it is pretty easy to spot and identify. This type of mushroom has a mild taste and you’ll find that just about 90% of the mushrooms you’ve ever had in any kind of dish were in fact white button mushrooms. Because of their mild taste, chefs love working with them, since they aren’t as restrictive an ingredient as other varieties of mushrooms. As such, they work just as well for soups and salads, as they do for pizza toppings.
- The “hen of the wood,” ram’s head mushroom or Maitake mushroom is considered to be one of the most unique and, to some, visually appealing mushrooms you can add to any meal. From afar it looks almost like a piece of cabbage, but when you get closer, you’ll notice its unique cluster format and smooth texture that characterizes this type of mushroom, making it really stand out from the crowd. Its earthy aroma is considered a great asset, and the mushroom is known to grow both in the United States and Japan. If you’re in the US, a trip to the Mississippi River at the beginning of September should get you the best ones.
- The oyster mushroom, also known as “angel’s wings,” is one of the most unique and beautiful species that chefs simply adore. These mushrooms can be found on the side of trees, but they are also heavily cultivated. Their fan shape, white color and ornate appearance makes them highly distinctive and easy to spot. If you’re a fan of Chinese and Japanese cuisine, you’ll probably love everything about these mushrooms and prefer to add them to delicious stir fry dishes or soups.
Choosing the right mushroom spores isn’t always easy, especially if you want to cultivate some and you don’t know the full story on how to do it. That is why it’s best to learn more about growing and cultivating mushrooms from the experts, while looking up additional species to consider, such as enoki, black trumpet and beech mushrooms.