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Which mushrooms are edible and where do they taste good with

Updated on July 25, 2012

Edible mushrooms

Everybody knows that you can eat mushrooms, while there are lots of highly toxic mushrooms.

Which mushrooms could you eat and where do they taste good with?

A collection mushrooms!
A collection mushrooms!

What are mushrooms

Mushrooms are fungi, they have no chlorophyll and therefore can not carry out photosynthesis. They get their energy in a different way, namely by breaking down dead animals and plants.

Not all the fungi do this in the same way. Boletus and truffles live together with living trees and get their sugars from them, while they themselves deliver minerals to the tree. Both have, in this case, benefits of living together.

Other fungi infect plants and receive their energy that way, while the last group lives of decaying residues, such as the toadstool.

Which parts of mushrooms are edible

The part of the mushroom that we eat is also called the fruiting body. This is the part above the ground. Fruiting bodies are very important for the fungus to survive, because that’s the place the spores are formed which are important for the reproduction of the fungus.

The Mycelium below the surface!
The Mycelium below the surface!

Most people think that the entire part of the mushroom is above the ground. However, the biggest part of the mushroom is below the floor and looks like a network of threads, also called Mycelium. This part we do not eat.

Because the fruiting body of the fungus is so important for reproduction, and thus also for the survival of the species, this section often contains toxic substances. Only experts know which mushrooms are edible, without risking their lives.

Nutrients in mushrooms

Mushrooms exists for a large part of water. They also contain lots of protein and vitamin B12. There are also tumor-inhibiting properties assigned to different types of mushrooms.

Fungi may be used as a substitute for meat, because of their meaty taste and flavor-enhancing properties.

Mushrooms contain about 15 calories per 100 grams and 2.5 grams of proteins.

Which mushrooms are edible

  • Truffles. Truffles look like a walnut, but can also be larger than a fist. A special feature of truffles is that they stay under the ground. The spores are dispersed by animals through their droppings. The truffle delivers a strong smell to be found. Truffles can be found near oaks, hazels and linden trees. Black and white truffles are available, the white truffle is the most expensive. There are also summer and winter truffles, of which winter truffles have a more intense flavor than summer truffles.

  • Shiitakes. Shiitakes are originally from Japan, and have a spicy taste.
  • Toadstools. Toadstools grow wild in meadows, but in shops only cultivated toadstools are available.
  • Cep. Cep has a pronounced mushroom flavor and goes well with meat dishes and pasta sauces.
  • Cantharelles. Cantharelles have a slightly peppery flavor that suits with wildlife and meat dishes.
  • Oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms can be light yellow, light purple or light gray. They match well with veal, chicken and fish.

How to clean mushrooms

Wipe mushrooms with a brush or paper towel. You often read that you're not supposed to put the mushrooms in water, but they exist for eighty percent of water, and taste loss rarely occurs.

You just need to eat them very quickly after washing, because mushrooms can change color. After cleaning you should remove the stems of the mushrooms and then cut them into slices or strips, so they are ready to be processed.


Mushrooms can be a wonderful addition to our daily menu.

However, you can not just grab them in the wild, without proper knowledge. Some mushrooms can be so toxic that they can lead to death, such as the bone spring fungus (Gyromitra esculenta), see picture below.

Therefore prefer to buy mushrooms in stores or at the greengrocer, where a large variety of different mushrooms are available.

The highly toxic bone spring fungus (Gyromitra esculenta)!
The highly toxic bone spring fungus (Gyromitra esculenta)!


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    • lilalollie profile image

      lilalollie 5 years ago from The Netherlands

      Hi Vinaya,

      Thanks for your comment and I'll be happy to follow your beautiful hubs!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      During this time of the year,lots of people in Nepal die because of eating poisonous mushroom. Many people are unable to identify edible and poisonous mushroom.

      Thanks for sharing this article.

      PS: Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub about rose water and flower water.

    • lilalollie profile image

      lilalollie 5 years ago from The Netherlands

      Hi Mirandalabelle,

      Thanks for your comment, but I am sorry to hear about your uncle :-(

      Anyway, thanks for the vote!

    • mirandalabelle profile image

      Miranda La Belle 5 years ago from Dunedin, Florida

      Ah... yes.... but be so so so so so very careful. My uncle (who lived in the wild his whole life) was an expert and misidentified a mushroom and died. Great hub and votes up:)