There are hundreds of varieties of edible mushrooms and other fungi in the world. Amy Farges, co-founder of New York City mushroom emporium Marche Aux Delices shared some of her favorites with us:
BLACK TRUMPET (Craterellus cornucopioides): Black and horn-shaped. The taste is lively, even fruity. Dramatic in cream sauce or risotto.
BLUEFOOT (Tricholome nuda): Streaked with violet. Tasty stems. Good with fish. Adds texture to polenta and egg dishes.
BLUE OYSTER (Pleurotus ostreatus): Gray-tinged and mildly flavored. Try in salads dressed with hazelnut oil.
CAULIFLOWER (Sparassis crispa): Very fragrant. Adds crunch to sauteed vegetables or to fish filets.
CEP (Boletus edulis): Also called cepes or porcini, these are fat mushrooms with an equally fat flavor. Grill with truffle oil, or layer with sliced potatoes.
CHANTERELLE (Cantharellus cibarius): Almost golden. Delicate and delicious sauteed with hearty chops or roasts.
CHARBONNIER (Russula cyanoxantha): The cap appears dusted with charcoal. Rich flavor. Stuff a chicken with these, or use them whole as a garnish.
CHICKEN OF THE WOODS (Laetiporus sulphureus): Bright yellow-orange. Firm in texture, and thus good for grilling.
CRIMINI (Agaricus bisporus): The hearty earth-mother version of ho-hum white buttons. Great in lasagna, in salad, or stuffed.
ENOKI (Flammulina velutipes): Size-wise, the microchip among mushrooms. Has surprising presence when added to salads and clear broths.
FAIRY RING (Marasmius oreades): Tiny and delicate, but with good flavor. Saute them and serve with roast veal.
HEDGEHOG (Hydnum repandum): Pumpkin-colored, and bristly like its namesake. Almost fruity taste, with plenty of staying power for stews.
HUITLACOCHE (Ustilago maydis): Sweet and buttery, with a hint of cinnamon; weds well with Mexican dishes, omelettes.
LACTAIRE (Lactarius deliciosus): Intriguing shades of rust-orange and copper-green. Deep, woodsy, slightly bitter flavor. Enriches soups; stands up to roasts.
LOBSTER (Hypomyces lactifluorum): Firm; lobster-red in color. Marinate with oil and tarragon, char, and slice like steak.
MOREL (Morchella esculenta, etc.): Shaped like a half-open parasol, with pocked skin that drinks in cream sauces. Big aroma, especially the dried ones.
POMPOM (Hericium spp.): Large and funny-looking, like a pompom. Its mild flavor makes it ideal with seafood.
PORTOBELLO (Agaricus bisporus): Another substantial relative of the button. King of the grill—and makes great sandwiches with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes.
SHIITAKE (Lentinus edodes): Brown caps and stems. Versatile, with a woodsy flavor that seems to go with everything.
WHITE TRUMPET (Pleurotus ostreatus): Related to the oyster. Delicately flavored. Toss into salads, use as garnish, or gloss with butter and tarragon.
YELLOWFOOT CHANERELLE (Cantharellus tubaeformis): Similar to the black trumpet, but yellow-brown in color. Try in pasta sauce (with black trumpets for contrast).