A Shortlist of Mushrooms
This trumpet-shaped wild mushroom has a delicate flavor and ranges in color from yellow to orange. Its meaty texture toughens up when overcooked. Peak season: summer and winter.
Thin, brittle, and sweet, these are the delicate ballerinas of the mushroom world. Use raw in salads or briefly cooked in Asian dishes.
This cousin to the truffle sports honeycombed caps and has a rich, smoky flavor. Morels are can be found fresh in specialty markets from mid to late spring, but are more readily available dried.
Fan-shaped clusters of wild oyster mushrooms can be found on rotting tree trunks. Young oysters are preferred; their peppery flavor mellows when cooked. Look for them fresh or canned in Asian and specialty markets.
Rarely found fresh in United States markets, this earthy Italian beauty is even more potent when dried.
These huge, flat, deeply flavored mushrooms are a natural substitute for steaks and burgers on the grill. Widely available throughout the year.
Native to Japan and Korea, and cultivated in the United States. Their woodsy flavor intensifies when dried. Available fresh in spring and autumn.
Tiny in stature with musty overtones. Available fresh in specialty and Asian markets, but most commonly found canned.
One of the world's most prized and costly foods. Comes in basic black or white. Specially trained pigs and dogs sniff out these aromatic treasures in regions of France, Italy, and--believe it or not--Oregon. You might find fresh truffles in specialty markets from late autumn to midwinter. Truffle-infused oil is available and more affordable.