September 18th was National Mushroom Day (and you know how much I love mushrooms), so before I share one of my favorite soups with you, I thought I'd explain some of the most common varieties in your local grocery store:
Agaricus, which is also known as the white button mushroom, is one of the most common mushrooms seen in your local grocery store and is readily available year-round. It's very versatile when cooking and can be eaten raw and cooked.
Chanterelle is a vase-shaped mushroom with a nutty, delicate flavor. Fresh Chanerelles are fairly expensive so you see them frequently in dried form. They're commonly used in sauces and risottos and when cooking, you should add them later in the process to avoid them becoming too tough.
Crimini mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor and are used to add a more robust flavor to your dishes.
Shiitake mushrooms look like little umbrellas and are also know as Chinese black mushrooms. These mushrooms are great when used in dishes that are sautéed, broiled or baked; however, it is recommended that the stems be removed prior to cooking.
Oyster mushrooms resemble a fan and have a delicate flavor. The caps are thin and cook quickly, so add them toward the end of your cooking process. These are most commonly used in stir-fry dishes.
Enoki mushrooms have long stems and tiny white caps and can be used in sandwiches, salads and garnishes. When cooking, add them toward the end of your cooking process so that they don't get too tough.
Portabello: These are the most commonly purchased mushrooms available commercially and are the mature version of the Crimini mushroom. They have a meaty texture and can be used whole, sliced, grilled or baked. But remember to trim the stem before using.
Porcini mushrooms look like a toadstool and have a strong flavor. They are generally more expensive and can also be found dried.
Morel mushrooms are a relative to the truffle and are spongy with a smoky, earthy flavor. The darker the mushroom, the more pungent the flavor.
Read more from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen.