September is National Mushroom Month! Mushrooms come in all different shapes and sizes and can be a healthy addition to a meal. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, and vitamin-rich. At E Armata Inc., located in the Hunts Point Produce Market, we have mushrooms delivered fresh daily from local growers. We provide a broad range of mushrooms, from portabella and cremini to enoki and maitake. Here are some popular mushrooms for cooking:
- Portabella: They are the mature form of the Agaricus bisporus species. Button and cremini mushrooms are actually from the same species, the only difference is the age. Portabellas are commonly used as a meat substitute due to their texture.
- Porcini: Often used in Italian dishes due to their earthy taste, and have a similar texture to portabella mushrooms.
- Shiitake: Often used in Asian cuisine, stir-fries, and soups. Shiitake mushrooms are a top source of vitamin B5.
- White: The most common and mildest tasting, not intense flavor. 90% of mushrooms consumed are this variety. Can be eaten raw or cooked and works well with soups, salads, and pizzas.
- Oyster: Whitish in color and fan-shaped. Have a very delicate taste and scent. Best in stir-fries or soups. When cooked they have a smooth oyster-like texture and some say a slight seafood-like flavor. Flavors are very subtle but some describe as having an anise flavor with a mild earthy note.
- Trumpet: A type of oyster mushroom, they are thick and stumpy with small flat caps. They are popular with Asian cooking and most often used in soups and stir-fries or even as tempura. They also grill or barbecue well. When raw they have little to no flavor, but when cooked they have an umami taste and have a flavor and texture compared to an abalone. They have a crunchy and firm texture.
- Beech Brown: Considered one of the most gourmet mushrooms due to their rich flavor that consists of a mild, sweet and nutty taste with a firm texture. They should always be cooked and never eaten raw. They can be cooked into a broad range of recipes from soups and sauces to stir-fries. They are a good source of protein and dietary fiber. They also contain many of the B vitamins, potassium, zinc, and copper.
- Beech White: They have white-colored caps and white slender stems that connect to a thick white inedible base which allows the mushrooms to grow. They have a sharp flavor and aroma when fresh, are sweet and buttery when cooked and a firm crunchy texture that softens with cooking. They work well in soups, stews, and stir-fries
- Enoki: The edible variety has small, shiny white caps attached to thin stems. They have a distinctive crunch and are very good eaten raw. Most commonly used in Asian cuisine. They have a firm texture and mild fruity taste. A great source of dietary fiber, and a good source of various vitamins and minerals.
- Maitake: looks like a head of cabbage from afar. Can be cultivated or found growing in the woods. Typically sold in clusters with their soft and feathery feeling caps overlaying each other. This mushroom is mostly considered a medicinal mushroom but can be cooked. Add this mushroom to a stirfry, pasta, pizza, salad, omelet, or soup. Best fried or grilled in butter. It also freezes well.
Mushrooms are not a vegetable, but a fungus. Mushrooms are actually closer to animals than they are vegetables. Here are some other interesting facts you might not know about mushrooms:
- Mushrooms come from mycelium, which is the vegetative part of the fungus that grows underground.
- The largest living organism is actually a mushroom colony, called the Humongous Fungus located in Oregon, United States.
- Mushrooms are the oldest known living species, with over 14,000 mushroom species known.
- Most mushrooms are a notable source of vitamin B, potassium, and fiber.
- Remember to cook your mushrooms! Raw mushrooms can contain potentially contain harmful substances.
Celebrate National Mushroom Month with us at E Armata Inc., located in the Hunts Point Produce Market by trying a new mushroom you haven’t tried!