Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you probably have strong feelings about mushrooms. Maybe you’ve never tasted anything besides a white button mushroom. Maybe you’ve always cooked them in oil before allowing the water to sweat out and ended up with an unpleasant gloopy texture. Or maybe, like us, you adore those fabulous little fungi and can’t wait to dive into our Fresh Pick selection this “mushroom month.” Either way, we’ve chosen four varieties that mushroom lovers will revere and skeptics will, well at least they can say they tried them.
You’ve probably heard of shiitake (shih-tah-key) mushrooms, even if you don’t know what they are. Widely used in Asian cuisine, they have a rich, almost smoky flavour that can stand up to strong spices. Their stems are usually tough, so cut or twist them off the cap before use (save them to flavour a stock if you’d like). Ours come from B.C.
Okay don’t worry these mushrooms taste nothing like seafood, they simply resemble oysters and so hence the name. Oyster mushrooms have a soft, delicate texture and are usually torn into pieces rather than cut with a knife. Their flavour is subtle enough to be eaten raw in salads, but you can also sauté them briefly just before eating. Ours come from B.C.
These are popular mushrooms for a reason, so if you’ve never tried one, we recommend you give it a whirl. Portobellos are actually just aged white mushrooms, picked after their caps have grown into delectable meaty discs. Like shiitakes, you’ll want to remove the tough stem. Because they’re so meat-like, you can marinate portobello mushrooms and grill them like steaks, or slice them up into sandwiches and burgers. Ours come from B.C.
These curious cartoon-like ‘shrooms are bitter when eaten raw, so sample at your own risk. Much better in tempura, stir fry, stew and soup, cooked shimejis have a buttery, nutty flavour and keep a firm, slightly crunchy texture. Cook the whole cluster or break off individual stems. Ours come from Korea.
Bonus mushroom knowledge! Mushrooms:
- are considered a nutrient-dense food that can satisfy hunger with few calories
- have natural glutamates that bring umami flavour without the need of heavy seasoning
- contain vitamin D, potassium, selenium and B vitamins including riboflavin