Mushrooms, the edible fungus, have been consumed for thousands of years. There are countless varieties, from the more common ones you see in the store like button, cremini or shiitake to the more unique ones like morels and maitake. They run the gamut from beautiful to grotesque to other-worldly in appearance.
Mushrooms vary in flavor and texture, but most have an earthy, umami flavor that adds depth to many dishes. Many mushroom varieties do well with a quick sauté in a hot pan or roasting at a higher heat. They tend to hold a lot of moisture, so a low cooking temperature can lead to a soggy and less than ideal texture.
Mushrooms are highly nutritious. They’re rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and B vitamins and have been shown to protect against cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.