Mushrooms 101

From shiitake to crimini and portobello to button, the world of mushrooms is vast. 

Neither a fruit or a vegetable, mushrooms have a cell composition unlike that of any other living thing, which puts them in a category all their own. Thousands of varieties of what are classified as fungi grow around the world, though only a small portion are edible. The diversity of colors, textures, and flavors make mushrooms one of the most interesting ingredients in your Sun Basket

A popular choice among vegetarians, who crave their meaty texture, and carnivores, who like their meaty flavor, mushrooms are a favorite of Sun Basket’s dietitians and cooks. According to our dietitians, mushrooms are fat-free, low calorie, and full of vitamins (they’re one of the only foods that naturally produces vitamin D!) and antioxidants. Our cooks love their flavor and versatility for dishes—stir-fries, soups, pastas, and salads—from every culture.

Fun Fact: The Mycena genus of mushrooms includes several dozen types of mushrooms that produce light by a chemical reaction called bioluminescence, which means that they glow in the dark. Throughout history, travelers would illuminate their way through the woods using these glowing ‘shrooms as a guide.

Chef’s Tip: Most mushrooms don’t need as thorough a wash as other vegetables. If you spot flecks of dirt, simply wipe the tops of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. With meaty mushrooms like portobellos, remove the stems and, using a spoon, gently scrape the black gills from the undersides of the caps.