Mushrooms 101 !

Mushrooms 101 !

Oh mushrooms! The addition to many recipes we love such as pasta sauces, risotto, burgers, tacos, and meatballs.

Although they are technically a type of fungus, mushrooms are commonly recognized as vegetables. Mushrooms enhances flavor, helps reduce calorie, fat, and sodium intake and adds important nutrients like vitamin D, B-vitamins, selenium and potassium to the plate.


How to Select:

  • Purchase mushrooms that look plump and have a fresh appearance and smooth surface without major blemishes.
  • More mature mushrooms will be softer and slightly browned – these will have more flavor, but a shorter shelf life. Chop and cook these the day of purchase.
  • Choose a package that has no visible moisture inside or outside.
  • Mushrooms with a closed veil under the cap have a more delicate flavor, while mushrooms with an open veil and exposed gills have a richer flavor.


How to Store:

  • To increase their shelf-life, store unwashed mushrooms in their original packaging.
  • Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, but sautéed mushrooms that are frozen will keep for up to one month. They are great to have on hand to toss into any meal like pastas, sandwiches, salads, etc.


How to Clean:

  • Clean mushrooms right before gently and quickly under cool water and lightly pat dry. Be careful not to soak mushrooms, as they will absorb water.


Flavor combinations

All mushrooms are inherently flavorful but to add even more to your dishes, try some of these seasonings:

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • wine
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Worcestershire sauce


9 Delicious Types of Edible Mushrooms

So, here are nine of the most delicious types of mushrooms you can eat.


1.White Button Mushrooms

These white mushrooms are probably the most common—and widespread variety in the world.


  • Less intensely flavored
  • can be eaten either raw or cooked
  • works well in soups, salads, and on pizzas

Studies on Button Mushrooms

Here are a couple of recent research findings:

  • White button mushrooms enhance the strength of cells critical to the body’s immune system.


2.Cremini Mushrooms

A cremini is a young portobello. Compared to white buttons, cremini mushrooms have a browner color, a meatier texture, and a deeper flavor.


3. Portobello Mushrooms

When portabellos are young and small, they’re called criminis.  The mushrooms are much bigger and wider in diameter than the cremini, as well as being deeper and richer in flavor.

Common in Italian cooking, portobellos add depth to sauces and pastas and are especially tasty when they are stuffed with some cheese.


4.Morel Mushrooms

These are certainly one of the most unusual types of edible mushrooms.

Morel mushrooms (Morchella esculenta) look like honeycomb on a stick, and they have a strange, mysterious appearance.

They have a kind of nutty flavor and due to their unique appearance, many people acknowledge that morel mushrooms are the easiest—and safest—wild mushroom to identify.


5.Shiitake Mushrooms


Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is one of the most infamous types of mushroom. They have a meaty, chewy taste and they go well with almost everything.

For instance, they are particularly renowned for their anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial properties.


6.Oyster Mushrooms

oyster mushrooms(Pleurotus ostreatus) are one of the biggest types of edible mushrooms.

They have a striking appearance and are very thick in shape, giving them an extremely chewy and spongy texture — a little bit like squid.

For this reason, roasting king oysters in the oven works best and leaves you with a deep, rich flavor.

Health Benefits

Notably, studies show that they contain a significant amount of antioxidants and that their compounds exert anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects.

Also, consumption of this edible mushroom appears to lower triglycerides and the LDL/HDL ratio.


7.Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms (enokitake) are long thin white mushrooms which resemble a piece of string.

Enoki mushrooms taste great, in certain Asian and Italian dishes, they can act as a replacement for noodles and spaghetti due to their chewy texture and noodle-like appearance.

Enoki mushrooms work well in soups or stir-fries, and they make surprisingly good low carb noodles.


8/Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms are one of the most popular sorts of mushrooms for culinary purposes.

Taste wise, they have a deep and mild nutty flavor with an intense aroma. Porcinis can be either purchased fresh at markets or in dried form.



Eleana Liasidou

Clinical Dietitian- Nutritionist, MSc