A mushroom is the spore-forming part of a fungus. Many edible mushrooms are cultivated, while some edible wild mushrooms are commercially harvested from nature.
A serving of mushrooms can contain 1/3 of a person's daily need for selenium. Mushrooms contain large amounts of riboflavin, plus decent amounts of niacin and pantothenic acid. Mushrooms contain a small amount of naturally occurring MSG. A serving of mushrooms contains about 10% of a person's daily need for potassium. Mushrooms are low in calories.
Many wild mushrooms are very good for cooking, however, other wild mushrooms are poisonous, some even deadly. When picking mushrooms in nature or using wild picked mushrooms, proper care should be exercised and unknown mushrooms never eaten. Often there exist guidebooks to help identify mushrooms in a given region.
Some types of food mushroom[edit | edit source]
Shiitake mushroom[edit | edit source]
This medium-sized brown mushroom has an earthy taste. It is primarily used in Japanese cuisine. Dried shiitake are often preferred over fresh.
Common or white mushroom[edit | edit source]
This is the typical mushroom used on pizza and generally in Italian cuisine. These mushrooms taste much better when cooked. They are commonly available pre-cooked and pre-sliced in cans and jars; the see-through jars generally have better quality. Also called: Agaricus bisporus, cultivated mushroom, and champignon de Paris.
Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms do not absorb water when washed or soaked.
Portobello mushroom[edit | edit source]
This is an overgrown crimini (brown) mushroom (head is 4"-6" in diameter). It is often barbecued without the stalk, to be used as a vegetarian substitute for a hamburger. A common alternate spelling is "Portabella".
Straw mushroom[edit | edit source]
This is a small mushroom well-suited to stir fry and often available canned. Straw mushrooms look like Smurf houses.
Enokitake mushroom[edit | edit source]
This is a very tall and narrow mushroom sometimes added to soup, particularly in Japanese cuisine. Also referred as "golden needle mushrooms", or "golden mushrooms" in some countries, including Indonesia.
Oyster mushroom[edit | edit source]
This is a trumpet- or oyster-shaped mushroom, which tastes somewhat fishy, hence the name. They will often appear sliced into strips and fried.
Chanterelle[edit | edit source]
A bright yellow funnel-shaped mushroom with a very characteristic fruity flavour.