Skip to Content

An Enlightening Guide to Mushrooms – 8 Surprising Facts You Should Know

Mushrooms are undeniably many people’s absolute favorite delicacy.

These fungi vegetables are super delicious with an earthy, somehow sweet, and umami flavor along with a soft and tender texture.

They can be consumed in many different ways.

For example, they can be taken as straight-up chew and swallow edibles, a smoothie, or an addition to salads, pasta, pizzas, etc.

This enlightening guide sheds more light on mushrooms.

It reveals a few mind-blowing facts about these fungi-based vegetables and teaches how to distinguish between safe and poisonous ones.

On top of that, it points you to the right place when you want to get started with cooking these B vitamin-rich delicacies.

8 Mind-Blowing Facts About Mushrooms

mindblowing facts about mushrooms

1 – Both mushrooms and humans have similar DNAs.

2 – In the ancient Egyptian civilization, mushrooms were once a preserve for kings, queens, and their families.

It was believed that the delicacies could generate superhuman strength and help the soul afterlife.

3 – There are over 50,000 species of mushrooms in the world.

4 – Mushrooms have been heavily used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, thanks to their strong medicinal properties.

5 – Mushrooms were widely used in dyeing applications involving wool and other natural fibers before synthetic dyes.

Thanks to the organic compounds found in these vegetables that produce strong and vivid colors.

6 – Some mushroom species glow in the dark.

These include Armillaria tabescens, Dictyopanus foliicolus Kobayasi, and Flammulina velutipes.

7 – The Armillaria ostoyae mushroom is the largest living organism in the world.

I’m talking about a super gigantic honey mushroom found in the Malheur National Forest, Oregon, USA.

It occupies 2,385 acres(965 hectares), which is equivalent to 1,350 soccer fields.

8 – There’s a mushroom variety in Hawaii whose smell is specific.

The bright orange fungus grows on the volcanic slopes of the US state.

How To Cook Mushrooms

how to cook mushrooms

There are many different ways to make mushrooms. These include sauté, roast, grill, and stir fry.

Lots of meal kit delivery services out there offer several recipes for mushrooms.

You can follow these recipes to make delicious delicacies out of these fungi vegetables.

To find out which meal kit providers are available in the New York area and more about each entity, read this well-written review. It talks about Blue Apron, Home Chef, Sun Basket, Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, Freshology, Marley Spoon, EveryPlate, and GrubHub.

By doing so, you’ll be able to determine better which meal kit delivery service is better suited for your needs.

How To Know If a Mushroom Is Either Edible Or Poisonous

how to know if a mushroom is either edible or poisonous

It’s worth noting that between 70-80 species of mushrooms are poisonous.

Some, including the Death Cap mushroom, Conocybe filaria mushroom, and Webcap mushroom, can be fatal if ingested.

Many people are at the risk of inadvertently consuming these mushrooms and suffering the consequences.

Fortunately, this article shows you how to distinguish safe and edible mushrooms from poisonous and dangerous ones;.

To do so, all you have to do is to take a look at the mushroom.

There are specific ways to tell if the mushroom you are looking at is good or dangerous for consumption.

Let me start with a word of caution, though, that if you’re not 100% sure that a mushroom you are staring at is safe to eat, then do not eat it.

This is not an authoritative or definitive guide to mushrooms.

As such, don’t do anything dangerous based on it:

1 – Look At The Color of The Gills

Some mushrooms have brown or tan gills.

But others have white gills.

Most edible mushrooms have brown or tan gills.

Similarly, most poisonous and deadly mushrooms have white gills except a few varieties that are edible.

If you don’t know what you are looking at, it’s better to avoid white-gilled mushrooms.

2 – Look At The Color of The Cap

Mushrooms come with caps of different colors.

For example, some mushrooms have brown, tan, or white caps, whereas others have red or red on the cap.

Mushrooms with brown, tan, or white caps are safe and edible.

Their counterparts with red caps or a touch of red on the cap aren’t.

3 – Look At The Color Of The Stem

Similarly, mushrooms come with stems of different colors.

For instance, some mushrooms have brown, tan, or white stems.

Others have red stems or a touch of red on their stems.

Unfortunately, the latter is highly poisonous and cannot be eaten.

In other words, avoid any mushrooms with stems that aren’t brown, tan, or white.

Safe and Edible Mushroom Examples

safe and edible mushroom examples

Some safe mushroom varieties are puffballs, oysters, chanterelles, and Hen of the Woods.

Puffballs are the most popular edible mushrooms.

These mushrooms are round, fluffy, and normally larger compared to many other mushroom varieties.

They tend to grow in the forest, particularly in the soil or on decaying wood.

While puffballs are distinctive and fairly easy to identify, be sure to inspect them before cooking them just to ensure they are not baby parasols, which are very poisonous.

To do so, just slice them open and use your eyes plus knowledge.

Oysters are synonymous with fancy dishes.

These mushrooms are white and sometimes ivory colored.

Also, they have a soft texture, and they normally grow in clusters on wood.

Though they grow wildly in the wilderness, they can also be grown at home.

Chanterelles are another type of mushroom you can eat without getting yourself poisoned.

These mushrooms are trumpet-shaped and are characterized by wavy caps plus irregular edges.

Before you cook them, though, be sure to inspect the gills on the bottom and make sure there are no sharp, jagged gills.

Jack O’ Lantern, another highly poisonous mushroom variety, looks very similar to a chanterelle except that it has sharp, jagged gills.

Lastly, Hen Of The Woods mushrooms is characterized by grayish-brown, fan-shaped caps that overlap one another.

White beneath the caps, the mushrooms come with short stalks, and they tend to grow near oak trees.

Poisonous and Inedible Mushroom Examples

poisonous and inedible mushroom examples

Parasols and False Morels are some of the most common and deadliest mushrooms out there.

Just like the name implies, Parasols are parasol-shaped with milky gills and white rings around the stem.

On top of that, they are brightly colored and spotted on the cap.

On the other hand, False Morels are characterized by wrinkled, irregular caps that resemble saddles or brain coral.

They have a bottom edge that hangs free around the base,.

Though you are advised to avoid false morel mushrooms, it’s worth noting that not all mushrooms with false morels are poisonous.

There are a few varieties that are neither poisonous nor dangerous.

People who know more about mushrooms can better tell the non-poisonous false morels from the poisonous ones.

If you don’t, it’s best to avoid all mushrooms with false morels to be on the safe side.

Final Thoughts

Mushrooms are a top-rated delicacy. When cooked properly, these fungi-based vegetables taste yummy.

There are many methods of preparing them, including saute, grill, roast, and dry fry.

You can use a suitable meal kit delivery service to get started with mushroom cooking as many delivery services out there offer mouthwatering recipes for these delicacies.

Though there are plentiful species of mushrooms out there, it’s unfortunate that not all are edible.

Some can be poisonous and, worst of all, fatal when ingested.

This makes knowing how to identify edible mushrooms an important consideration for mushroom lovers.

Sharing is caring!