Their rich, savoury flavour (which the Japanese call umami) makes them the meat of the vegie world, giving dishes great taste. Button mushrooms are the youngest (and usually the smallest) variety, as they haven’t quite flourished into cups that flaunt their frilly gills. Flat mushrooms are more mature, and their open caps are perfect for stuffing. Asian mushrooms, such as shiitake, shimeji and enoki, add interest and texture to soups and stir-fries, while dried mushrooms, such as porcini, put an earthy spin on ragouts and risottos.
Five surprising facts about mushrooms
Let your button mushrooms soak up the sun for one hour to boost their vitamin D. Just three little light-exposed mushies deliver 100 per cent of your daily D requirement.
More than 30 mushroom species glow in the dark. Anyone for fluorescent fungi?
Mushrooms add satisfying bulk to meals, so they’re a great ‘filler food’. One cup of sliced button mushrooms has just 87kJ (21cal), less than 1g of fat and nearly 2g of filling fibre.
Mushrooms keep best in a closed paper bag on the bottom level of the fridge (rather than in the vegetable crisper).
One flat mushroom, such as a portobello, provides more potassium than a banana.