Spice Descriptions and Uses
Black Trumpet (Craterllus Cornucopioides), otherwise known as Horn
of Plenty, is considered a great delicacy. This fragile, trumpet shaped
Mushroom has a waxy, charcoal-gray outer surface, while the inside is a
velvety blackish-brown. This is an incredibly rich and buttery Mushroom.
This Mushroom can be found growing in large groups in damp deciduous
woods, especially under oak or beech, during summer and fall.
Trumpets work well as a flavoring ingredient in soups and casseroles.
Black Trumpets are great in vegetarian cooking because they add a
richness and depth that is often the role of meat in a recipe. These
Mushrooms are delicious sauted and added to rice dishes, particularly
Boletes (Boletus Luteus) are Mushrooms that have tubes, a spongy
layer containing tiny pores instead of gills. This Mushroom is the King
of the edible Mushrooms. This Mushroom typically grows in the summer or
fall and are found growing under conifers and hardwoods in temperate
climates. The Mushrooms are used fresh or dried for consistent
availability. The French name for a Bolete is Cepe. In Britain, this
Mushroom is known as the Penny Bun. The Chilean Boletes are sliced then
dried for use. The Boletes have a rich, deep, earthy flavor which is
famous throughout the world in numerous cuisines.
are great in pasta sauces, soups and any recipe calling for wild
mushrooms. Boletes are wonderful in wild rice pilaf or add them to your
next stuffing or casserole dish.
White Button (Agaricus Brunnescens) is the most frequently used of
all Mushrooms. Also, called Champignon, they've been cultivated by the
French since the 1700's. Today, the United States is the largest grower
of cultivated White Button Mushrooms. The Champignon retains it's shape
well when cooked, although they do shrink a little in size. The
Champignon has a mild flavor and firm texture and comes in sliced form.
The Champignon absorbs flavors well in any dish.
reconstituted, Dried Champignon look, cook and taste just like their
fresh form. Delicious in gravy, sauces, cream soups, stews, stir fry
recipes, pasta, casseroles - just about anything youd want to use
mushrooms in Buttons are good to take along on camping trips to add
extra flavor to camp fire meals.
Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius) are Funnel Shaped Mushrooms
that are relatively uncommon. They bear a slight resemblance to Horn of
Plenty, but are smaller, brownish-gray in color rather than black, and
have a compressed stem. Very sought after for their tender texture and
flavor, they are an uncultivated mushroom. They grow in clusters under
broad-leaved trees and are difficult to find among the leaf litter.
Chanterelles are found in coniferous and hardwood forests of Northern
Chanterelles have a delicious flavor. They are great sauted in butter
with onions or shallots. This is a wonderful Mushroom for sauces.
Chanterelles go well in cream sauces. The flavor of this Mushroom is so
delightful that it is best cooked with light seasonings so that the
Mushroom taste can be highlighted.
Cloud Ears (Auricularia Polytricha) are ruffle-edged, thin, Black
Mushrooms. Cloud Ears are similar in appearance to Wood Ear except Wood
Ear are black with a brownish - tan inner color, whereas Cloud Ear
Mushrooms are black with a slightly lighter shade of black as their
inner color. Cloud Ears have a more delicate, mild flavor and are much
smaller in size than Wood Ear. Cloud Ear Mushrooms reconstitute to a
puffy like, soft, firm, smooth texture and delicate flavor.
Ears have a firm, soft texture that makes them great in dishes where a
textural contrast is desired. Cloud Ears are wonderful in stir fry or as
an ingredient in stuffing. Like all mushrooms, Cloud Ears are delicious
in soups and sauces.
Cuitlacoche (wheet-lah-KOH-chay) also called Corn Fungus, Maize
Mushroom, this gourmet rage is actually a Bulbous Fungus (technically
known as Ustilago Maydis) that attacks ears of corn and makes the
kernels swell to 10 times their normal size. The Corn's color turns an
ugly medium-to dark-gray verging on black. Although most U.S. farmers
consider it a plague and destroy infected ears, the Aztecs are said to
have prized Cuitlacoche (in Nahuatl Cuitlatl means excrement, Cochi
means Black). Enthusiasts say that Cuitlacoche has a smoky-sweet flavor
that is a cross between that of Corn and Mushroom. Cuitlacoche is
currently being cultivated in limited quantities in California, Florida,
Georgia and Virginia.
Cuitlacoche is sold canned and frozen in some gourmet markets. It can
occasionally be found in specialty produce and farmer's markets (during
corn season) and can also be purchased by mail order. Cuitlacoche is
used in a variety of dishes including sauts, soups, casseroles - in
general, any preparation where cooked mushrooms would be appropriate.
Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces Lactifluorum) is a Parasitic Mushroom
which uses another Mushroom as its host; and dramatically increases the
flavor of that host. The Lobster Mushroom derives its name from the
reddish color of the Mushroom. This Mushroom is a great addition to
Mushroom dishes because of its beautiful color which is rather unique in
the edible Mushroom world. Lobster Mushrooms have a firm, soft texture,
delicate flavor and the slices range from 1 - 3 inches wide. The Lobster
absorbs flavors of a dish well while adding eye appeal.
Mushrooms add a beautiful touch of color to dishes. They are great in
baked dishes or sauted and served with meat or tofu. Use in place of any
Mushroom, Lobster are very versatile.
Morel Mushrooms (Morchella Elata) are Honeycomb-Capped Mushrooms
that are the delight of the Northern Woods. Morel Mushrooms have a
wonderful buttery, woodsy flavor that's delicious with beef, game and
wild rice. Typically, Morels range from 3/4 of an inch to 4 inches in
height. Morels have a cream colored base and A Black Cap. There is also
a White Morel (Morchella Elata) that has a white cap and cream colored
base. ; The B Grade Morels are typically smaller in size and have a
slightly delicate flavor. Typically found in Michigan and Oregon, Morels
inspire an early Spring Pilgrimage in quest of this rare and delicious
treat. Although there are many beliefs, it is commonly believed that
Morels arrive within 10 days after the first Spring frost. Hunters of
the Morel Mushroom rarely reveal their harvesting locations.
mushrooms are highly prized by mushroom hunters for their deep, woodsy
flavor. Competitive hunters wont even tell their friends where they find
these gems of the woods. Because of their earthy flavor, morels are
often paired with cream or white wine sauces and milder flavored meats,
such as veal or chicken. They are also wonderful when partnered with
grilled and roasted foods.
Mousseron Mushrooms are delicious small Mushrooms from France.
Mousseron are a deep golden hue with lacy, deep gills and very thin
stems. Mousseron Mushrooms have a wonderful flavor with a soft and chewy
texture. The smell and flavor of a Mousseron is reminiscent of Porcini
Mousseron has a great flavor and texture. Include them in, stuffings,
soups and stews. Mousseron sauted with onions and garlic are a wonderful
addition to pasta, bean or rice dishes.
Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotues Ostreatus) so-named for their
similarity in color and shape to the Mollusk. Oyster Mushrooms are
cultivated, though they can be found in the wild. Oysters have a mild
mushroom flavor, wonderful, firm texture, and are a popular ingredient
in many Asian dishes. Oysters have a sea shell type shape with a pale
yellow creamy color. Oyster Mushrooms are similar to the Chanterelle
with a more delicate flavor and coloring.
Mushrooms are delicious marinated in garlic and olive oil. Then grilled
or broiled. Use to flavor light cream for chicken and fish. Add to fish
chowders and light soups. Oysters are tasty in casseroles and Au Gratin
Paddy Straw Mushrooms (Volvariella Volvacea) are cultivated on Rice
Straw in South Asia. Straw Mushrooms are an indispensable ingredient in
many Asian dishes. Though not available fresh outside of Asia, Dried
Straws are delicious, and their bite-size shape make them easy to
Straw Mushrooms are often found in recipes from Southern China. They're
delicious in Chicken Stir Fry, Pork Chop Suey, Shrimp Chow Mein Oriental
soups and sauces. Use Paddy Straws in Meat Loaf or Vegetarian Tofu
Porcini Mushrooms (Boletus Edulis) are a very popular Mushroom
throughout Europe and the United States. During the fall months in
Italy, the Porcini grows in abundance. Porcini has a strong flavor with
subtle undertones. The flavor can be almost addicting. Dried Porcini are
very economical as the flavor is very concentrated. In Italian, Porcini
means Piglets. Porcini is graded by size, color, aroma, and variety.
are delicious in soups, sauces, stuffings and stews. Dried Porcini can
be substituted for any Mushroom in any recipe; typically a smaller
amount of Dried Porcini can be used in recipes than other Mushrooms
because of the intense flavor of the Porcini.
Portobella Mushrooms (Agaricus Bitorquis) are an extremely large,
round, firm, dark brown Mushroom. This Mushroom is the fully mature form
of the White Button Mushroom. This Mushroom measures between 5 and 8
inches in diameter with an open, flat cap. Because this Mushroom is the
elder of the species it's gills are fully exposed which means that some
of the Mushroom's moisture has evaporated. The reduced moisture creates
a dense, meaty texture and enriched flavor. This Mushroom has a
delicious mild, woodsy flavor. Poratobella are like White Button or
Champignon Mushrooms only larger and have a deeper flavor. Use the
Portobella wherever you would a White Button if you want to enhance the
flavor. This Mushroom comes as a large sliced about 3--4 inches long and
1/2 - 3/4 of an inch wide.
Portobella Mushrooms are delicious and versatile. With a rich, firm
texture, they're an excellent choice for grilling or broiling. Their
savory flavor compliments steaks, chops, poultry, seafood and grilled
vegetables. Use them in stews, soups, couscous and casseroles. Marinate
Portobella in red wine, garlic and herbs.
Shiitake (Lentinus Edoles) is often called a Wild Mushroom, however,
it is only found cultivated. The origin of this Mushroom is debated;
either the Chinese or the Japanese were the first to cultivate Shiitake
over 1200 years ago. Available fresh in nearly all U.S. markets there is
also a very large demand for the dry form. Dried Shiitakes Caps are dark
brown on top, with tan gills underneath. The rim of the Dried Shiitakes
curls down toward the stem. The Cap ranges from 1 to 1-3/4 wide.
Shiitakes have a meaty flesh and a full bodied, bosky flavor. Shiitakes
may also be referred to as Chinese Black Mushrooms or Forest Mushrooms.
Delicious breaded and fried, added to vegetable and Oriental soups. Chop
and mix with bread crumbs for a savory stuffing for grilled vegetables.
Add Shiitakes to soups, stir fry dishes, rice dishes, casseroles and
even grill with meats.
Black Truffles (Tuber Melanosporium) are the most famous Truffles in
the world. The flavor of a Truffle is pervasive in a subtle way; this
enigma of taste is one of the reasons that Truffles have such a loyal
following amongst food lovers. Much folklore has arisen around Truffles;
the tale of pigs and dogs which can find them, or flies that hover above
Truffles. In any event, Truffles have created a following and a folklore
because they are a delicious, interesting fungi.
flavor of Truffles should be given center stage in recipes. Use Truffle
slices sparingly - they are potent Delicious in soups and sauces,
particularly those made with White Wine or Champagne and are served with
Ear Mushrooms (Auricularia Polytricha) are cultivated all over the
world but grown for the commercial dry market almost exclusively in
China. This Mushroom has other names such as Tree Ear and Black Fungus.
It is often confused with the Cloud Ear. Cloud Ears are similar in
appearance to Wood Ear except Wood Ear area black with a brownish - tan
inner color. ; Believed by many to be good for the heart. Wood Ear look
like ears growing out of trees, hence the name. When reconstituted, the
brownish tan inner color blends with the black exterior color to create
a singled colored brownish black mushroom. The Wood Ear have a firm,
thick skin with a slightly crunchy texture and earthy flavor. Shredded
Wood Ear Mushrooms are thin, long slices of the whole Wood Ear Mushroom.
Ear Mushroom's texture is crunchy and its flavor is mild. This Mushroom
is very popular and served often in Oriental soups. Wood Ear are often
called for in pork recipes, though they can be used with most meats.
Info Source woodland foods