Know Your Mushrooms 

 Originally Written: May 13, 2009

By  Hanna Trafford

There are so many varieties of mushrooms available on the market – I thought I post some information for you about a few.

Button Mushrooms:

Button Mushrooms

Small to large in size and white to off-white in colour, these are the most popular in the supermarket produce aisle. Their mild, woody flavour works well in a variety of soups to indulgent creamy sauces.

Portobello Mushrooms:

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobellos are really fully growm cremini mushrooms (darker and firmer than white button mushrooms) and can reach more than 6 inches in width. With their meaty flavour and texture it’s no suprise they are often used as a meat substitute. Try it – Protebello burgers give beef run for its money! They are great baked, sauteed or barbecued.

Enoki Mushrooms:

Enoki Mushrooms

Long and slender with white stems and small, round caps, graceful enoki mushrooms have a mild taste and delicate texture. It’s best to preserve their fragility and use them raw to complete sandwiches, salads and artful Asian cooking. You can add them to broth but they soften quickly, so add them just before ladling soup into bowls. Find them in vacuum-sealed packs or in plastic wrapped trays.

Oyster Mushrooms:

Oyster Mushrooms

Fan shaped and cream, brown or grey in colour, oyster mushrooms (also called tree mushrooms or oyster caps) grow on the trunks of rotting treets and have a velvet like textrue and subtle flavour when cooked. Eaten raw however, they have a surprisingly peppery licorice taste. Sliced raw in salads, added to soup or sauteed as a side dish for beef, they add a luxurious touch!

Pheasant Back Mushrooms:

Pheasant Back Mushrooms

Also called Dryad’s Saddles, pheasant back mushrooms grow on trees and stumps and have brown scales on the cap that look like featehers but smell like watermelon rind. Best eaten young in the spring, they are delicious in tempura or simply pan-fried.

Shiitake Mushrooms:

Shiitake Mushrooms

Used in Asia for cooking and medicine (they are even hailed in North America as a cancer fighter), pricey shiitake mushrooms are soft, plump and fleshy with a rich, meaty taste – great to add to soups, beef stir-fries and creamy pasta sauces.

Hope you enjoy reading this information – please feel free to comment and add your suggestions!


Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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