Culinary Trend: Mushrooms

A Culinary Trend That Is Shaping The Food Industry

Last year, New York Times named mushrooms the “ingredient of the year” and this year they are still placing high as a culinary trend. Because of their broad range of amino acids–similar to animal proteins–versatility, and unique earthy flavor, mushrooms have been a staple in many cuisines for centuries and are a hearty way to enhance any dish. 

As for some mushrooms are a true luxury, but their earthiness and meaty textures make them a go-to kitchen staple for those who love rich, intense flavors and chewy bites that bring something special to a dish.

Mushrooms are available in a nearly endless array of sizes, shapes, and colors, and they often exhibit marked differences in flavor and texture.

Some fun dishes to try with mushrooms are quesadillas, strata, and lasagna.

How Can They Be Used In Cooking?

If you’ve only ever had one type of mushroom in your life, we’re going to assume that you had a white button mushroom. This variety of mushrooms is very common, and it’s probably what you see whenever you’re in the produce section at your grocery store. Actually, button mushrooms are the same species as cremini and portobello mushrooms, they are just harvested at an early point in their growth cycle. These mushrooms make an earthy addition to salads, pasta, omelets, steaks, pizzas, or savory pies. 

Delectable mushrooms like shiitake can be used in classic mushroom dishes like stuffed mushrooms, perfectly sautéed mushrooms, and wild mushroom risotto. You might steep dried mushroom varietals for stock and then use the rehydrated mushrooms and stock for making risotto. 

The chanterelle mushrooms are intrinsic to French cuisine. The vase-shaped, bright yellow to orange, and expensive when fresh mushroom is delicate in flavor and has a nutty flavor and texture.  These woodland mushroom can easily be the star of a dish or as easily be the all-important supporting player. They may be singularly featured, or used as part of a dynamite wild mushroom mix. Luxurious chanterelles bring their unparalleled flavor to porridge, lasagna and even ice cream.

Oyster mushrooms have a very satisfying meaty texture and a delicate flavor. They are easy to cook and a delicious plant-based alternative to meat and seafood. Oyster mushrooms can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, or stir-fried. Because they soak up moisture easily, they are also good simmered in soup broth and stew or braised in sauce.

A more advanced option is to use these mushrooms to develop your own version of plant-based meat.

Bon Appetit