What Do Mushrooms Taste Like
Mushrooms are a type of fungus that grows on the ground. They have many different shapes and sizes, but they all taste like mushrooms! The most common types include white button mushroom, oyster mushroom, portobello mushroom, and cremini or baby Bellas. Another kind called shiitake has been cultivated for thousands of years in China to make delicious food.
These popular mushrooms are commonly used in any diet because they contain many nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc. It’s very easy to cook with too. You can use them raw or cooked. You can also have medicinal mushrooms because of their high nutritional benefits. And with all these several types of mushrooms, many have wondered what do they really taste like?
To give you a glimpse, mushrooms taste like meaty texture or chewy texture mixed with an earthy flavor. Some people say it tastes like a chicken, while others say it’s more similar to beef. But whatever your opinion may be, there’s no denying that these tasty fungi will surely satisfy your appetite. If you want to know more, read further about it below.
What Do Different Types of Mushrooms Taste Like
We have listed down the popular mushrooms that are usually served during meals. So, learn more below how they taste to help you cook your favorite mushroom dishes in the next gathering.
- Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms originated in Asia, where they were first discovered by Chinese farmers who noticed their resemblance to seashells. These mushrooms grow underground and look like small black buttons. Oysters are often eaten raw or steamed. However, if you prefer cooking, then you should sautee them until golden brown before serving. This way, you’ll get a better result.
Oyster mushrooms are commonly used in soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, etc. Because of its meaty taste compared to other kinds of mushrooms, this one is perfect when paired with strong flavors. For example, try adding some garlic, onion, chili pepper, lemon juice, or soy sauce into your dish.
- Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms are the kind of variety that was originally found in Japan. In fact, it took over 2,000 years for someone to discover this particular species of mushroom. Shiitakes are known to contain higher amounts of vitamin D than regular mushrooms. Also, they’re rich in calcium, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
If mixed on dishes, Shiitake mushrooms would taste great with seafood, vegetables, meats, eggs, tofu, rice, pasta dishes, and desserts. It has a strong earthy flavor. Hence, adding extra flavor is great, such as olive oil, sesame seeds, salt, sugar, vinegar, herbs, spices, or seasonings. If you are looking for versatile mushrooms, this would be a great pick!
- Porcini Mushroom
This mushroom is native to Europe and North America. Porcini mushrooms are considered among the best varieties of edible mushrooms due to their unique flavor and aroma. Its name comes from the Latin word “porcus” meaning piglet. Porcinis are generally sold dried, so you need to soak them in hot water before using them. Once soaked, they will become soft and tender. Then, you can either boil them or bake them at low heat.
Porcini mushrooms are a common ingredient in Italian cuisine because of their distinctive flavor. They have earthy, woodsy, with a hint of nutty flavor. They also go well with many foods such as fish, poultry, pork, cheese, bread, pasta dishes, risottos, pizzas, and much more. The porcini mushroom is very easy to find since most supermarkets or farmers markets carry them. Just make sure not to confuse them with poisonous button mushrooms.
- Morel Mushroom
These delicious fungi come from France and Belgium. Morel mushrooms are typically harvested between May and September. When cooked, these mushrooms turn out to be creamy white in color with a nutty flavor. Their texture resembles chicken breast meat but tastes similar to lobster. They contain a lot of nutritional benefits such as fiber, protein, B-complex vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, and manganese.
You may use morels in any food, including appetizers, main courses, and side dishes. The darker the Morel is, the more it gives a smoky flavor. Just make sure to avoid using the slimy ones or those with bruises. To prevent wasting them, make sure to dry them out with a damp paper towel and wrap them with a paper bag.
- White Button Mushrooms
The White Button Mushroom is one of the most popular varieties of mushrooms available today. This mushroom grows naturally all around the world, especially in temperate climates. These mushrooms grow underground and look like small brown buttons. You’ll usually see them growing near trees, grasses, and shrubs. However, some people say that they do appear indoors too.
When cooked, white button mushrooms give a flavor of mild sweetness combined with an umami taste. Some people prefer eating them raw while others enjoy cooking them. In general, white button mushrooms are used in salads, soups, pasta dishes, stir fry, and other recipes where their savoriness goes well.
- Portobello Mushrooms
Portabella mushrooms should definitely be added to your list if you try something different from your usual mushrooms. These mushrooms are commonly found in grocery stores and restaurants. They resemble large portabella and are often served grilled or sautéed. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, then this variety would work great for you. It’s high in vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, folate, and riboflavin.
They have a rich beefy flavor that has hints of garlic and herbs. They are quite versatile when it comes to how you cook them. For example, if you grill them on a barbecue, they’ll get charred and crispy outside while retaining moisture inside. On the other hand, if you pan-sear them over medium heat, they’ll develop a nice crust without getting burnt.
- Cremini Mushrooms
This particular kind of mushroom can be easily recognized by its dark green cap and light yellow gills. Creminis are known to be good sources of antioxidants, minerals, and dietary fibers. They are low in calories and fat content, making them perfect for dieters.
In addition to being healthy, creminis are also flavorful. They have a sweet aroma and a slightly bitter aftertaste. They pair well with seafood, vegetables, meats, and desserts. In addition, they can be eaten fresh or dried. So whether you choose to eat them whole or cut them into pieces, creminis will always add a unique twist to your meals.
- Candy Cup Mushrooms
These mushrooms are not only delicious but also beautiful! A candy cup mushroom comes in various colors: red, orange, pink, purple, blue, black, etc. Their caps are round and flat, which makes them easy to pick up. When sliced open, these mushrooms reveal bright-colored flesh.
If you love candy, then you must include these mushrooms in your next meal. It gives a flavor of caramelized sugar mixed with fruity notes. The texture is firm yet tender. And because they contain no cholesterol, they make a great snack food.
Other mushroom types are
- lion’s mane mushroom
- cremini mushroom
- white mushroom
- enoki mushroom
- king oyster mushroom
- crimini mushrooms
What Are the Benefits of Eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a great source of protein and minerals. They are also great substitutes for meats if you are on a strict diet. Here are just some of the benefits:
1. Weight Loss
One study showed that consuming more than two servings of mushrooms per week could reduce body mass index. BMI measures the ratio between height and weight. A lower number means less obesity. Mushrooms can help in weight loss because of their low content of carbohydrates and fats.
2. Immunity Boosting
Recent research shows that mushrooms may improve immune system function. According to researchers at Harvard University, certain types of fungi called polysaccharides stimulate macrophages – cells responsible for fighting infections.
3. Cancer Prevention
A study published in Nutrition Journal suggests that eating mushrooms regularly might prevent cancer. Researchers believe that compounds present in mushrooms inhibit tumor growth. However, there isn’t enough evidence to prove that mushrooms actually protect against cancer. More studies need to be done before we can say anything about their effects on human health.
4. Heart Health
According to a report released by American Institute for Cancer Research, mushrooms are one of the best foods for heart health. This is because they contain high levels of fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc. These nutrients work together to keep blood pressure under control and maintain a normal heartbeat.
5. Digestive System Support
The same report mentioned above says that mushrooms support digestive functions. They contain substances like chitinase, glucanases, proteolytic enzymes, and beta-glucans that aid digestion. Chitinase breaks down proteins, while glucanases break down complex sugars found in plants. Proteolytic enzymes digest meat while beta-glucans dissolve starch. Together, all these ingredients promote proper digestion.
FAQs About Mushrooms
What are the inedible mushrooms?
There are edible mushrooms and non-edible ones. Edible mushrooms have stems and gills. Non-edible mushrooms do not have either. Here are the most common inedible mushrooms:
- Webcap mushrooms
- Death cap mushrooms
- Autumn Skullcap
- Destroying Angels
- Deadly Dapperling
How do you cook mushrooms when you don’t like mushrooms?
You can use them as an ingredient or add them to soups, stews, sauces, salads, sandwiches, pizza toppings, pasta dishes, casseroles, stir fry, etc. You can even eat them raw! Just remember to wash them first and cook over low to medium heat. Overcooked mushrooms are not tasty!
Which mushrooms have the best taste?
White button mushroom has a mild flavor with no strong aftertaste. It’s usually used in cooking. Portobello mushroom tastes similar to white button mushroom, but it has a darker color. Shiitake mushroom is another good choice. Its texture is firm, and its flavor is rich. Maitakes are very popular among vegetarians. Their flavor is slightly nutty. Cremini mushrooms are small and round. They’re often added to risotto rice. So, choose which one suits your dish well.
Do I have to peel mushrooms if I want to remove toxins from my body?
No, you don’t have to peel mushrooms. But, you should always rinse them thoroughly before using them. If you see any dirt stuck between the fibers, wipe it off with a paper towel.