A Passion for Mushrooms, Photo Gallery
This is a varietal of the beech mushroom (in the genus hypsizygus), which is native to East Asia. The common names for these mushrooms vary, and include white beech oyster and clamshell oyster mushroom, but the experience is the same: They are all firm and crunchy.
Hen of the Woods
Hen of the woods, also known as maitake (Grifola frondosa), is an East Coast parasite that grows under oak. It is a choice edible, recently cultivated. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
There are a number of chanterelle species. This one, Cantharellus cibarius, is the most common, and it is wonderful, with an aroma of apricots. It is a mycorrhizal fungus that grows in association with beech, oak, and conifers. It is exclusively wild-crafted.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is native to East Asia, where it has been cultivated for a millennium. The ease of growing shiitake makes it one of the most popular mushrooms for home cultivation. It is an excellent edible and is also an important medicinal in traditional Chinese medicine.
Morels (morchella) are perhaps the best-known edible mushroom. Some species are mycorrhizal while others are saprophytic, so it's hard to pinpoint the conditions that lead to fruiting.
The portobello (Agaricus bisporus) is a grown-up crimini mushroom; the portobello has more taste because it has mature spore, and spore has flavor.
Like all mushrooms, the brown beech, or shimeji (Hypsizygus tessellatus), produces large quantities of vitamin D2 when exposed to ultraviolet light.