When it comes to mushrooms, most people are only familiar with the famous button or portobello mushrooms they see at the grocery store. These other varieties can be used not just for cooking but also for their medicinal benefits to boost your immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and may even be useful for treating cancer and other serious diseases.
In the last 10 to 12 years, the mushroom production in India has increased many folds, and current mushroom production stands at 50,000 tons. The three types of mushroom grown in India are the button mushroom, oyster mushroom and paddy straw mushroom. India.
Here is our guide to the most common types of mushrooms:
- Button mushrooms, also known as baby mushrooms or white mushrooms are by far the most common type of mushroom that can be found in grocery stores. These are best used as a topping on pizzas, in spaghetti sauces.
- Oyster Mushrooms also known as Dhingri in India, have a delicate texture and mild, savoury flavour. These mushrooms have a fan or spatula shape and are available different shades of white, cream. Rich in vitamin – C and B complex, these mushrooms can be dried and are typically best when sautéed, stir-fried, braised, roasted, fried, or grilled.
- Paddy straw mushroom is most consumed in South-east Asian countries. They have a distinctly delicate yet slightly musty flavour and are easily substituted for standard button mushrooms and are most often used in curries and stews.
- Portobello is the oldest variety of mushroom used in cooking. Because of their large size and meaty flavour, they can be swapped in for meat on pretty much anything—sandwiches, pizza, pasta sauces, omelettes.
- Cremini mushrooms are just an older version of the button mushroom but have but with a slightly deeper flavour. These are great for soups and stews.
- Hedgehog Mushrooms are also known as the “sweet tooth,” are easy to identify with their yellow or orange cap, toothy underside, and fruity odour. With a sweet, nutty taste and these mushrooms offer a crunchy texture if cooked right. They can be sauteed, pickled, or simmered in milk or stock.
- Morchella is a honeycomb-textured wild mushroom. They can be tricky to find in popular grocery stores, and finding them is the wild is a tricky task. However, several organic produce stores sell this type of mushrooms. Morels have a nutty, earthy flavour. They have a meaty texture but also still tender.
- Shiitake mushrooms are most used in Asian Cuisine. They are also known to have medicinal benefits in traditional Asian medicine. They have a more smoky, earthy flavour when cooked are most commonly sold dried.
- Porcini mushrooms are most used in Italian Cuisine. They have an aromatic, woodsy and nutty flavour which works great for sauces, broth, eggs, pasta and vegetarian dishes.
- Enoki mushrooms are winter mushrooms with small, shiny white caps attached to thin stems. Known to have a mild and delicate fruity flavour, these mushrooms can be eaten raw and cooked and used in salads, soups, sandwiches, and pasta sauces.