Recipes

Button and crimini, oyster and porcini …

darrington@sacbee.com

Enoki mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms Mushroom Council

More than 10,000 species of mushrooms grow wild in North America, but only about 20 varieties are cultivated for eating. Here are some of the most common:

Button: The common white button is the most popular edible mushroom by far. Their mild flavor and versatility makes them a good choice for many dishes, cooked or fresh.

Chanterelle: These flared fungi look like golden trumpets and have a delicate fruity flavor that pairs well with pork or ham. Excellent roasted or sautéed, but don’t overcook; they’ll get tough and chewy.

Crimini: Also called cremini or baby bella, this popular brown-capped mushroom is actually the same species as white button and portobello. Developed by commercial growers, this fungi has a heartier flavor than its white button cousin and is used the same way.

Enoki: Delicate and crisp, this little mushroom has spaghetti-thin stems topped by tiny white or tan caps. Eat them fresh in salads or as a garnish; cooking makes them tough.

Morel: Gems of the mushroom world, these distinctive fungi with a honey-comb cap offer nutty, smoky flavor. Best sautéed in butter or added to sauces.

Oyster: These fan-shaped tree mushrooms get their nickname from their seafoodlike flavor. Raw, they can be peppery and pungent; cooking improves their flavor. Great for stews.

Porcini: Called cépes in France, this meaty brown mushroom is tasty fresh or cooked. Excellent in soups, stews or stuffings.

Portobello: A favorite meat substitute, this popular giant is actually just an oversized cremini that’s grown until its cap is expanded and fully mature.

Shiitake: Also known as Chinese black mushrooms, this fungi has a steaklike flavor and meaty brown caps. They work well in dishes with strong flavors or served sautéed on their own. The cooked stems tend to be tough to chew; use them to flavor stock.

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