Pearl Oyster Mushrooms (Tree Oyster Mushrooms)
Oyster mushrooms are a basic, all-around useful mushroom. Since their flavor is mild, they blend well with many types of dishes without overpowering them. They also taste great on their own!
Pioppinos have a nutty, earthy taste. The stems have the same taste as the caps, but are slightly sweet. These mushrooms retain a firm texture after cooking. They also lend some flavor to the dish they are in. As a result, they are excellent in pastas, risottos, and stir-fries. They are also good on their own, sautéed in oil or butter.
Lion’s mane mushrooms have an umami (savory) taste. They are meaty and firm. They are bitter when raw, so cook them thoroughly to enjoy their taste. Some people cook them and add butter at the end to flavor them – cooked this way, many say they taste like lobster. You can also cut them into medallions and pan fry them, making them an excellent meat substitute at breakfast, or anytime.
Chestnut (Pholiota adiposa)
Chestnut mushrooms are rich and nutty – and fine if you have a nut allergy! They retain their texture when cooked and add a great flavor to dishes. As with most mushrooms, cook them thoroughly to enjoy the best flavor and get the most nutrients. They are wonderful in soups and stuffings…or pasta…or stir fries, etc.
King trumpets are seductive mushrooms that are generally grown for their meaty stems. They have a mild taste that is somewhat stronger than their cousins, the pearl oysters. They are firm enough to slice and cook on the grill. Some people slice them crosswise into rounds and cook and serve them as meatless “scallops.”