‘Shroom for improvement
Stuffed with gourmet delights; fried in butter next to a steak; tossed through an omelette – it’s no wonder the comforting sensation of sinking your teeth into a mushroom is like relaxing into your favourite pillow.
Mushrooms are a food that have been part of our lives forever, and in so many different ways.
For a vegetable, mushrooms are a ridiculously popular food with meat-eaters, and have often been called ‘meat for vegetarians’ because of their protein content and their meaty texture.
They are also a favourite food of those watching their cholesterol – or their waistlines – because they have practically zero fat, but are packed with natural fibre.
Have you ever wondered why you feel so good after chowing down on a bowl of mushrooms? Fun food fact: collectively, the B-vitamins contained in mushrooms may help to relieve stress, depression and fatigue.
There’s another reason too, of course. Mushrooms are delicious and they are versatile.
So don’t limit yourself! Step away from the common white variety and con‘shroom a feast with these little beauties.
Possibly the most common mushroom, these cuties are white and button shaped, making them perfect for stuffing, and have a mild flavour that lends itself well to salads.
Growing to around six inches across, these mushrooms have a big taste and plenty of texture. Their huge, umbrella-like caps are often eaten as veggie burger substitutes.
With a distinctive smoky taste, shiitakes are best cooked in stir-fries, sauces, and casseroles. The stems are too tough to eat but can be used to flavour stocks and sauces. They are key to miso soup, and are a staple ingredient in Chinese stir-fries.
This variety of mushroom has a distinctive trumpet shape and a soft, velvety texture. Oyster mushrooms have a lovely nutty, peppery flavour making it a great addition to stews and casseroles.
These most unmushroomy-looking mushrooms have tiny little caps and longs stems, and are often mistaken for sprouts. They are a common feature in Asian cooking, and because they are so crisp, they work well in soups and salads.
Similar in size and shape to the button mushroom, the Swiss brown mushroom has a strong taste and firm texture and a light brown, slightly mottled appearance. They are perfect for soups, creamy risottos, or simply tossed in butter and sprinkled with salt.