Everything about mushrooms
In case you’re puzzled when standing in front of a stand that has different types of mushrooms, in the following we’re going to help you out by offering you all the information we found regarding them.
Mushrooms at choice
Delicious, having a low fat content and a high nutritional value, mushrooms are very diverse and can be eaten in various ways. Mushrooms are light and high temperature sensitive. They grow in areas where matter decomposes or in harmony close to other plants or trees. The first under crop mushrooms were the Parisian Champignons, which were grown in the caves filled with manure around town. All along history, mushrooms have been considered as being a delicacy. Nowadays there are some types in Europe or Asia, like the Morel or Matsutake, whose presence in the menu is a true spoil. Even so, the types of mushrooms grown in Australia have an accessible price and are slowly becoming more than just “vegetarian food”.
From the Common Mushroom (Agariscus Bisporus) to the exotic White Cloud and Yellow Oyster, mushrooms bring a plus of nutritional value and flavor to meals.
The Pink Oyster Mushroom
The Pink Oyster, also known as the Flamingo Oyster tastes and has the same texture as the Oyster Mushroom.
The Common Mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus)
The Common Mushroom or the White Mushroom is the most known type of mushroom. It’s picked before its cap opens and reveals its brown-grayish gills.
The Cup Mushroom
The Cup Mushroom is the mature Common Mushroom’s product. Similar to the Common Mushroom, it has a cap that doesn’t open and a slightly stronger taste.
The Enoki Mushroom
The delicate Enoki grows in a bunch of little white capped and long stemmed mushrooms. It’s also called Enokitake. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked in soup or fried just a little bit at a high flame.
The Shimeji Mushroom
Known as the Beach Mushroom, the Shimeji is a Japanese mushroom that grows in bunches, having small and thick stems. Its color varies from a whitey gray to a pale brown.
The Portobello Mushroom
The Portobello is an ideal frying or cooking-in-the-oven mushroom because of its size and its taste similar to that of meat.
The Brownish Swiss Mushroom
Similar to the Common Mushroom, but having a harder texture, the Brownish Swiss Mushroom has a light brown cap that can sometimes be piebald.
The Black Forest Ear Mushroom
The Black Forest Ear Mushroom tastes delicious and is appreciated more for its slippery yet crisp texture when cooked.
The White Cloud Ear Mushroom
Thus named because of its similar aspect to a cloud, also known as the Jelly Mushroom, meaning that it has a jelly-like texture.
The Oyster Mushroom
The Oyster Mushroom is thus named because of its white seashell aspect. It has a tender taste and a pink or yellow color.
The Shiitake Mushroom
Originated in Asia, the Shiitake Mushroom has a cap similar to a black umbrella and a porous texture. This type of mushroom is often used in the Chinese and Japanese cuisines.
The Yellow Oyster Mushroom
The Yellow Oyster Mushroom, as the pink one doesn’t resist much after it’s picked and it loses its color and taste when cooked. Its better it be eaten uncooked.
The Chestnut Mushroom
Has this name because of its bitter taste, has a hard texture and maintains its shape even after it’s cooked.
Buying and depositing
Some mushroom varieties are sold in packs and thus it’s hard to tell how fresh they are. Look for mould or shrivel signs caused by dehydration. When buying closed cap mushrooms, as the Common Mushroom or the Cup Mushroom, check if the cap is closed because it tends to open as time goes by. All fresh mushrooms have to have a good shape and a shiny color without any stains. Mushrooms that aren’t fresh tend to wrinkle and have a grayish color. All mushrooms that have been bought in a pack can be left in the original packing in the fridge for up to 3 days. Mushrooms that aren’t bought in a pack can be kept in the fridge in a paper bag.
Preparing the mushrooms for cooking
Most of the packed mushrooms don’t need to be cleaned before being cooked, but it’s good to check for dirt traces.
Use a damp cloth to clean the mushrooms. If washed, they shouldn’t be left in the water because they absorb it in their gills and become saturated.
Before cooking them, clean the base of the stems because this area often has an easy chewable texture and then choose the way you’re going to cook them, keeping in mind the type of mushrooms that you have. As a rule: the tender the mushroom, the shorter the cooking period. Most mushrooms don’t resist at a longer cooking period.
Tips and information
Picking mushrooms has been practiced for centuries, from the Romans to the contemporary French. It is a rather dangerous activity if you don’t know what you’re doing. Pick wild mushrooms in order to eat them only if you know how to identify them.
From the 120 000 mushroom species registered along time, only 1841 species are edible. Many mushrooms contain very dangerous or even lethal toxins for people, so that’s why it’s better to leave picking to the specialists.
Mushrooms as the Morel or Shiitake aren’t easy to be found fresh, but can be bought dried from the Asian or delicacy shops. The taste of dried mushrooms is much more concentrated, making them a better alternative comparing to the fresh ones.