Mushrooms and Me

I have never liked mushrooms. It isn't so much an issue of taste as it is one of texture. I've never really had an aversion to mushroom-based sauces - only to the chunks of mushroom that were usually in them. I used to say that it was a general aversion to fungi. This is obviously not the case. I love cheese.

Over the past few years, I've come across some mushrooms (usually those with non-standard textures) that don't bother me. I'm really not very strict about my aversion, either. If someone serves me something with mushrooms in it, I will almost certainly eat it. I suspect that if I tried, I could get over my dislike of them.

I'd prefer to keep it, though.

I expect that if I learned to like mushrooms, I'd almost certainly learn to like some mushrooms more than others. I'm fairly certain I'd never really like white/button/portobello mushrooms. Given my track record, I'd like the really fancy ones. I'd be a mushroom snob.

I'm already a snob when it comes to (among other things) cheese, olives, and beer. I really don't need to add another form of snobbery. With my luck, all I'd want are truffles and morels.

So... to all the mushrooms in the world:

It's not you. It's me. Probably.

I'm still annoyed when mushrooms are lumped into the category of vegetable. It isn't even a plant. It seems equivalent to calling chicken a vegetable. Seriously. Mushrooms on a vegetable pizza? Peperoni at least has some vegetable matter in it, and you don't see that on one of those...

Comments

If you want the mushroom flavor without the mushroom texture, you can always chop them very finely, or make mushroom stock. Another way to improve the texture is saute. If you cook those suckers down in a mixture of olive oil and butter with some salt and pepper, and use them quickly, you get 'shroominess without the slime, assuming slime is what bugs out.

As to your preference for the expensive ones, I think if you cook with them in general you don't need the best ones. In a dish that highlights mushrooms, sure, but in spaghetti sauce or soup don't bother. You can also stretch nice mushrooms by using some "lesser" varieties to back them up.

However, I'll dispute that button and portabella/crimini are the same. They feel pretty different to me. Buttons are softer and have much less of that meatiness I expect from a crimini.

Stuart Broz's picture

My understanding was that button, portabella, and crimini mushrooms were all the same species. There may be differences in strain and cultivation, of course, and such things shouldn't be dismissed.

Portabello and crimini I knew were the same. Portabello are essentially really huge crimini, but I didn't know buttons were the same. Seems you're correct, though:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portabello_mushroom

Buttons are younger (veal?) while criminis have matured (steers?).

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